By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THIS IS still a dream struggling hard to become a crisp reality. Imagine if our celebrities, instead of showing off their inanities, frivolity and the like, become models of virtues, showcasing the many aspects of these ideal human qualities!

At the moment, it sounds very unbelievable, quixotic, even impossible, but there’s always hope in our world. We need to put teeth into that hope by making a concerted and sustained effort to create a culture of virtues in our world of media, entertainment and showbiz.

Of course, all this should be pursued on the basis first of all of spiritual and supernatural means of prayer, sacrifice, sacraments, doctrine. But all the human means, like the virtues and all the way to the art and skill of making war, should not be neglected either.

Perhaps, an immediate task is to do some thorough housecleaning, especially in the papers, TV and other major media outlets. By now, we should be aware of the rotten excuse that because of freedom, right of expression, creative and artistic rights, etc., we can just show anything in the media.

No, sir! These rights and freedom need a clear foundation of truth and sense of responsibility to spring from. Otherwise, they become a spout of licentiousness, a source of malice and evil in all their varied expressions and subtle forms.

There has to be a better understanding of these human powers and privileges that have often been misused and abused. At this time, with all that we have accomplished as well as the dire lessons learned from sad experiences, we should already know the delicate character of these privileges.

They have at least dual effects, good or bad, and in between them, endless possibilities and variations and combinations that we should try our best to rein in, control and direct properly.

There are signs we have lost control of these crucial human elements, and we just allow ourselves to be at the mercy of chance. This latter thinking is naïve, because things are never happen purely by chance. They are ruled, if not by us, then by higher spirits, that is, either by God or the devil, to be simplistic about it.

I cannot understand, for example, why everyday newspapers should highlight the escapades of so-called sex-kittens and brute hunks, their strange peculiarities and idiosyncracies, etc.

They seem to glorify vanity and to flaunt a certain disturbing notion that at some point, certain people, precisely the celebrities, can be above moral considerations. They can do anything in public and for public consumption without having to account for it.

One time, while in a taxi, I heard over the radio the driver was listening to, songs with clearly risqué lyrics embedded in double-meaning words. And the announcer was reeking with flippant commentaries soaked with sexual innuendoes. All this, done with an air of impunity!

Ok, it’s all very easy to complain, and we should not stop there. We need to build, to construct and sustain a culture of goodness, of virtues, of what is truly for all of us.

If what comprises human goodness is still to be argued and proved, then let’s start there. But we already have to make a stand. What is good and bad can be known by us in a general way right from the start. Let’s discuss their finer points as we go along.

But right now, people are in extreme need to be encouraged and supported in their life’s endeavors and struggles that are becoming more difficult. They need to know how to be patient, hopeful, cheerful, resourceful, orderly, sincere, humble, simple, in control of their emotions, passions and urges, etc.

Virtues perfect our humanity. They too are a foundation for more significant developments in our spiritual and supernatural life.

The celebrities, if they want to contribute to the common good, can do a lot in giving out ideas, words and ways of coping with our current difficult situation. Since their every move becomes an example to many, they have to be very discriminating in their words and actuations.

Those who handle them—from their managers to the media people—should help to make their wards and talents comply with the standards and requirements of the common good.

Of course, the people should also do their part by promptly reacting to any deviations these celebrities may make and also encouraging them to stick to what is truly good to all.