Palauan Way?

By Fuana Tmarsel —-

Recently I asked a couple of relatives to help me move earth for a fee. One flat out told me “no”,  while the other said, “ oh sure, not a problem, just holler when it’s time.” Well, I rang, then I begged and hollered to no avail.  I was okay with one who refused, but it took me awhile to get over the one who agreed to help, but never showed up. In fact it bothered me for some time, but seeing that I was gaining nothing out of it, decided to move on. Once I decided to forgive him, he came and began talking to me – of course not about helping me out. In a way I am relieved because now that he knows he did not live up to his end of the bargain, he does not come around saying   “me tara chens.” His failure to live up to his word, precludes him from asking for chens. And honestly, that brings me little relief.

Actually, I had forgotten about the incident with my relatives, until just a few days ago when a Chinese national, in referring to a situation wherein a man was neglectful of his home, said, “Palauan Way!” My knees jerked and I wanted to say, how dare you insult Palauan’s like that, but I imagine he must have encountered enough to say that. I mean Palauans saying they will do something, but fail to live up to their words, and think nothing of it.

In fact, there is some truth in what he says; it is becoming rare to meet one who can be characterized as a genuine gentleman – that is “a man of his word.”  This is with all kinds of nationalities – Bangladesh, Palauan, Chinese, Filipino, and so on.

I guess we are literarily living in a dog eat dog world. Be that as it may, this is troublesome phenomenon, especially as a Palauan woman depending on a man’s integrity to make a world sanative place for us all, especially the children. What is more disturbing is when we are dealing with those in position of power who fail to live up to their word.  I am not talking about family situations – though that is big part of it. But I am talking about politicians who think they can exercise their powers to clean someone else’ backyard, when their own is riddled with maggots and wells of putrid waters. This is called entitlement abuse. And the attitude is – it is wrong for someone else to bend the rules, but I can. Heck, we do not have to make sense to anyone else, as long as we move our weight around and get away with everything.  But what is most unfortunate is that those in positions to demand adherence to policy are not up to the task they have accepted.  And so the Palauan way continues to get more and more contorted and our children grow up in a world without justice. And foreigners who do not understand, just shake their heads and say, well it must be Palauan way!

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