Monday Matters: Motivation vs. Manipulation

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Monday Matters is dedicated to all things that matter.

I’ve read about the difference of these two “big” words from Zig Ziglar’s Something to Smile About (Women’s Edition). His very short article on Motivation, Manipulation, and Leadership is very timely nowadays since the 2019 national and local elections is just a stone’s thrown away. Have you acquainted yourself with the candidates? Have you listened to their political platform? Have you listed down your “own” choices? What does your heart say versus your brain?

I was born on the late Martial Law years. I had witnessed one leader to another from late president Cory Aquino down to our incumbent president Digong Duterte. Six presidents for my 36 years of existence. Still too young an experience that is and I’m not into politics. But here in the Philippines, though you claim not to care about politics, you’re still involved. As a democratic country, we have the right for suffrage and I’ve been exercising this right truthfully since I was 18 when I first voted.

Oh, I was so excited that time! I was so excited to cast my vote, hoping for changes for our country to happen. However, I got disappointed ‘coz on the night before election, our neighbor knocked on our door with flyers and new P20 bills for each voter in our family. Crestfallen, I didn’t vote for those candidates whom I was about to vote for ‘coz of the P20 bill attached in their flyer. This was my first exposure on vote buying.

Vote buying, flying voters, and other sort of dishonesty are really rampant here in the Philippines. This has been passed on from generation to generation just like the original sin. Though we’ve been educated, still it exists and has gotten even worse these days! So Motivation, Manipulation, and Leadership struck me. Then I asked myself, “After 18 years of voting, am I motivated or manipulated to exercise my right for suffrage this time?”

Motivation is a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way (Oxford Dictionary). For example, I wanted to finish my master’s degree because I felt the need to learn more so I will be more effective as a teacher. On the other hand, manipulation is the action of manipulating someone in a clever or unscrupulous way (Oxford Dictionary). For example, I wanted to finish my master’s degree because my boss told me not to hire me anymore if I don’t get my master’s. The former comes from within ourselves. It is a freewill. But the latter comes from an outside force. It is like coercing. And coercing self-destructs.

As a teacher, I also lead. So that makes me a leader too. As a leader, we can motivate and we can also manipulate. It’s either or or neither nor too. In the same way, some candidates nowadays motivate and some manipulate. Or if not, “supporters” of some candidates do the motivating and the manipulating. These are two sides of the coin that we should deeply think about. Who are motivating us? Who are manipulating us? Are we motivated to vote? Or are we manipulated to vote?

We still have one week to know our candidates. Let us research about their history and background, listen to their political platform, and open our eyes together with our hearts. Let’s not easily believe in hearsays. Let’s look for proof and evidences. Come on, let’s not just show up in our voting precinct empty handed! Let’s take part in voting wisely! Now that’s already a cliché these days, huh? Just don’t be ignorant in exercising our right to vote, OK. Do vote from the heart for our country’s future! Final word, “Is someone motivating you? Or is someone manipulating you?” Think about it.

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