Media and Its Power to Change A Nation

November 26, 2017

During my travels to more developed countries, I can't help but observe how disciplined people are, which got me thinking - does that play a major part for a nation to flourish?

I'd have to say yes, because every citizen plays a role to develop a country, and if they have good habits, then it will have a positive effect in the overall state of the land.

I am in no way an expert on this topic, but I just can't help but notice the differences between my country and the new places I was able to visit. Just for example: escalator etiquette. It's basically an automatic gesture for people in Taipei and Seoul to just stand on the right side of the escalator to make way for rushing passengers on the left side. Amazingly, I am starting to see this kind of culture sinking in to my own country's, and this was made possible by the media. In recent months, I have seen several campaigns to make more people aware of this kind of etiquette: from campaign ads on social media, to subtle references of this rule on TV shows... slowly, people were starting to get it. When I rode the MRT yesterday, I noticed that people are already standing on the right side while rushing people were on the left. It made me feel proud. 😊

Another change I noticed while riding the MRT is that people are falling in line on the platform area. With this one I am not sure how it started. As far as I know, the MRT situation is getting worse. Thousands of people use this as their means of transportation to work everyday. If people were not falling in line, it's going to be a major disaster! Good thing MRT riders have learned that falling in line is the right thing to do. 😁

So how did our society get to adapt these great habits? I believe media played a major role on them. So with that formula proving to be effective, what more could be done to make our country a better place to live in? 

Here are some of my suggestions of norms that we could establish in our society:

1. "Clean as you go" culture.
I actually don't understand why we are still not doing this. In fast food stores, canteens, and food courts, people just leave their trash behind. Then people who arrive and would like to use the table would now have to tackle with the problem of cleaning it up. Especially during lunch hours on a fast food store in Makati, this situation can be a nuisance. I hope the media promotes this one next. For sure everyone will be benefited if people started practicing it.

2. Priority Lanes/Seats.
I can't stress this one enough. People don't have the concept of priority seats in buses!!! I have encountered multiple times, commuting via bus, the elderly having a hard time getting through the bus because the first several rows are already occupied. People who were seated in the first row should give up theirs because those are priority seats! I admit I was guilty of this myself but in recent years I've become more aware of this etiquette, and I hope more people will become also.

This applies not just in buses but anywhere where you need to fall in line, people should be conscious to give special considerations for senior citizens, pregnant women, and the disabled. Even in comfort rooms, there should be priority lanes. I could just remember falling in line with my mom in a jam-packed CR, and I badly wanted to take her to that priority cubicle, but couldn't because there was a long line there too.  

3. Pedestrian's Right of Way
In any situation, in respect to any vehicle, pedestrians will always have the right of way. I don't get why some drivers even attempt to fight for their way versus people walking. I'm like - dude, you are inside that vehicle and you can injure people with that kind of attitude! I remember how culture-shocked I was during my first time out of the country. It was in California, and cars were really stopping when they see people trying to cross the streets in front of them. Our government really needs to revamp the policies on how they grant driver's licenses. This will also resolve our forever problem of bad traffic because of reckless drivers on the road. 

With the development I saw in the communities' norms in recent months, I believe our country still has hope. We just really need to educate and spread the needed information. With that, we'd really need the power of media to make it happen. They say Filipinos in other countries can follow rules, why not do it when we are within our own territory?

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