Loose Change

Very well, so we are being the change.  No longer apathetic, we will advance with our pig banners on Monday. Scrap the portly barrel. Seek jail time for the transgressors, and a law that will parade us the money trails.

As I march on Monday with these big bold words: integrity; justice; and accountability, on my t-shirt, portly pig at the back, can I truthfully say, I live by them?

Because what about that time I applied wit and charm to get out of a traffic violation, a gullible policeman lets me go and I am quite pleased with myself for getting off, despite a real transgression? Or what about flaunting perfect scores in grade school when all I had to really do was memorize the exam papers my tutor had handed me a day before? Or that I would pad out my billable hours at the law firm, because surely it takes a lawyer hours to write a pleading? Or those days when I wanted to hurry back to normal everyday, dodge legal process, call “the connection” and just offer the officers merienda instead?  Not to mention how I often dip into the business coffers to buy myself a tshirt. To finish it off, I have wined and dined on dirty money, perched myself in their velvet couches, partaken in their caviar, guzzled on the champagne, and enjoyed it too.

It’s tragic to suddenly grasp we had a hand at making this government what it is.  We spend our days profiting from loopholes, breaking laws that we think don’t count, dishing out white lies and half-truths.  And we think it’s fine. It’s loose change, compared to the billions of money stolen from us right?

And yet. It’s the absence of disgust for lies that has put us where we are. It’s our belief that minor transgressions are acceptable, just don’t get caught.  The common impression that you can cover up things with a white lie.  I cannot say I have enough integrity to cast the first stone. Or even that I stand by justice and will bring family or friend to be hanged at the first opportunity.  Or that I am accountable to every little thing that has been entrusted to me.

Are we being the change? All these years living in sin city and the most corrupted in the world has given us a taste for pork.  And we need to develop an aversion for it. You cannot steal loose change. We should shudder when we get off easy, or feel disgusted about giving “merienda” under the table. Because just as we are going after the fattest, portliest, greasiest pork to date, we ought to trim our own fat as well. Otherwise, even if we let this pig out of the barrel, there would be plenty pigs to choose from next time. And it would be just as easy to build a barrel and call it another name.

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