Men of Steal

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

Many people, whose true identities shall remain anonymous, have approached me since the inception of the column, asking me to shed light on “political” topics that range from nepotism and discrimination to unlawful and unjustified actions taken by government officials and others. Now, I did make somewhat of a promise not to write about anything political, however, these issues to me are beyond political and are indeed social injustices.

Now, if you’re not familiar with Superman’s story, it’s basically about a humanlike being with superhuman strength who escapes to Earth as a baby from a dying planet. And while growing up he finds within himself a sense of guardianship and an eagerness to combat injustice with his given abilities.

So now you’re asking, “ngka ngerang mesaod? What does Superman have anything to do with what’s happening in our government, in our communities, our siukang?” Well yes, it is strange that I would even discuss these issues with reference to a long-time comic book hero, and even the title is a pun of Hollywood’s latest take of the superhero’s tale. In this case the “men” refers to all of us who are citizens of Palau, while the “steal” refers to socio-political issues, which in my opinion, are too well-known in our country. It may not be obvious now, but sooner or later we’ll realize that these issues, if left unaddressed, will prevent us from opportunities as individuals looking for a better life and as a young independent nation looking for self-reliance.

And so my point is simple. We complain day in and day out about how unfair the “system” is, and about how someone we know was unfairly treated at work and about how apparent it seems that some are above the law while others are not, and so on.  It’s like every time a new administration and congress is sworn in, we rush to compare how decisions are made and critique on how things could’ve been done better.

It seems as if we’ve come to label all of our issues as villains and all we’re doing is waiting for “Superman” to come and save us. He will correct our system, prosecute the crooked, boost our economy and improve our way of life for us. So, who is this Superman? Is it who we elect in the next elections? Is it a new SP? Is it the approval of the new Compact of Free Association? Who is this Superman that we anticipate and bet all our hopes on?

The truth is that no one can help us but us. Because we are the ones creating inequality amongst ourselves and prevent ourselves and others from progressing forward. We are the ones who create our villains so we should hold ourselves accountable to defeat them. And so I leave you with a quote, “Superman? You’ll never be Superman. Because you have no idea what it means to be Superman. It’s not about where you were born. Or what powers you have. Or what you wear on your chest. It’s about what you do… it’s about action.” – Superman.

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