Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The over arching and encompassing spirit of EDSA lives on!

This post is the second to the last series of reflections during the 25th Anniversary of the historic EDSA Revolution in the Philippines on February 25, 2011. Still relevant as the Christendom celebrates Lent.

Like Lent, nobody can domesticate the EDSA Revolution. Even the so called EDSA heroes cannot claim exclusive right to the historical and mystical event in the Philippines. For the spirit of EDSA is inclusive. It is above all and encircles all.

What happened in EDSA 25 years ago reflects the truism of systems theory. Much of the systems theory grew out of the business management literature. According to Cleland and King (1972), several factors have contributed to the development of the systems theory and the system analysis into a distinct field. These factors included new ways of viewing cost efficiency, new management techniques, and the era of the computer.

The key concepts of the systems theory are wholeness, relationship, and homeostasis. Wholeness implies that the product of interaction by the elements within the system is greater than the additive sums of the separate parts. The concept of relationship asserts the importance of the pattern and structure of elements in the system, equally important as the elements themselves. Homeostasis, which is the tendency of the physiological system of higher animals to maintain an environment of organized stability even when its natural function or condition has been disrupted, suggests that most living systems seek a balance to maintain and preserve the system.

The beauty of systems theory is represented by the rainbow. While there are only three primary colors (red, yellow, blue) there is a multiplication of colors when these link, interact, and overlap. Try to separate one from the other, and the beauty of rainbow is gone. So with EDSA. It is a culmination of respective struggles participated in by the basic masses who since time immemorial always take the lead as they are ones affected.

Then comes various sectors of diverse orientation, status, political and ideological leanings, colors and shapes. Youth, professionals, church people, businessmen and women, government officials, military and others. All have contributed their share in shaping the Philippine history. Try to isolate one, and the beauty of the event is gone.

Such inclusive spirit should have been the character of Christians in their attitude towards others. As this is exemplified by Jesus the Christ. His teachings and actions consistently abhor exclusivist attitude. Biblical accounts reveal some of his skirmishes with bigots during his time. In fact, the Gospel of Mark attributes Jesus’ altercation with the temple leaders in Jerusalem as the final blow leading to his arrest and subsequent execution. “On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.” The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. (11: 15-18)

Ted Grimsrud in his blog, Jesus’ Death and the Powers: Religious Exclusivism, has an interesting post on Jesus encounter with religious bigots.

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