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Marry Megalith Suan AB-Political Science, 3rd year The Interdependency of the Socius and the Neighbor The

interplay of the socius and the neighbor in the world can be imagined with the interplay of the sun and the moon in the sky. Both are needed in order to attain balance and equilibrium. Both are interdependent from each other. Without the sun, the moon would be naught. Without the socius, the neighbor would be nothing too. The interaction between these two things, which are related but are also opposing each other, is vital for their environment to survive. For the socius and the neighbor, its the world. For the sun and the moon, its the sky. There are times when the sun needs to rise up, giving way for the day. But inevitably, the moon has to take the throne and give way for the night. Just like in the context of the neighbor and the socius, the socius also needs to rise above but the neighbor has to surface too. This is the interplay between the socius and the neighbor, between the sun and the moon, and this interplay is crucial for the world, for the sky, to maintain its proportion and equilibrium. This paper seeks to address the importance of the socius and the neighbor by distinguishing their strengths and weaknesses, and the significance of the parable and the prophecy, and the modern world and institutions. This paper will also answer where I find the first, second, and third dialectics in my life. And lastly, this paper will answer how I see the world after learning about the socius and the neighbor and how the interplay of the socius and the neighbor will bring me my full and true humanity. The parable tells us of a story of a stranger, without a social responsibility and without an occupation, who helped a wounded man after being disregarded by two men, both belonging to a social category and both with roles in the society. The first two men who passed by the wounded man were defined by their social categories; being a Priest and a Levite, both needed to assume their social function and to stay pure because their functions required purity. This tells us that the parable is an answer to the question: who is my neighbor? It tells us that the neighbor is someone who is always making oneself available. This means that one must make it a habit to become available to make himself or herself ready for surprise encounters. Moreover, the parable commands us to go and do likewise just as the Samaritan the stranger, the unoccupied, the role-less did in order for us to experience a direct man-to-man relationship. The prophecy, on the other hand, narrates to us of what is yet to come, which is the Judgment day, when the King will be placing us in either his right as sheep or in his left as goats. It locates the least and these least people will be who Christ will call as his representatives. They will be rewarded by their histories. Neither the just nor the unjust will know which side they will belong or whether they will be rewarded or punished. These goats will be the great men of today, who will only be praised today. These sheep will be the least, who will be exalted and rewarded when the prophecy comes. The parable astonishes us, and the prophecy will soon astonish us. The parable relates to us an encounter in the present, and the prophecy relates to us an event at the end of history, which will open to us the meaning of all our encounters in history. As defined earlier, being a neighbor dwells in the practice of making oneself available. It is a behavior and not a social object. One of

the strengths of the neighbor is that it reaches out to a wide distance. It also doesnt categorize people as friends or enemies; as long as a person needs help, the neighbor attends to that person without being biased with his feelings towards the helpless. Lastly, the neighbor is not encumbered by any social function. The neighbor is always available, and thus he or she can always attend to someone immediately, and even to surprise meetings. However, the neighbor also has weaknesses. Because he or she doesnt have a certain territory, it will be difficult for the neighbor to attend to everyone who needs help in different places. Also, the neighbor will even find it difficult helping a lot of people in one place because he or she will get overwhelmed with the crowd of people who needs aid. On a different note, opposite the neighbor is the socius. The socius is evident in the institutions formed after having entered into the civil state and into the modern world. In the modern world, human relationships get complex, and abstract. The institution, on the other hand, is all the organized social forms present in the society where the socius dwells. In the institution, there is division of labor, job specialization, jurisdictions, and even sadness and boredom. However, in the institution lies an inherent evil. Men tend to enter into the institution to develop their passions for power, and domination. The institution is materialistic, and it does not necessarily help out of service. The modern world is filled with malevolence, and thus the institutions become filled with such atrocities. The division of labor limits a person to only one or two jobs, causing his or her life to become monotonous and therefore, making it a story of sadness and boredom. There is the tendency to tyrannize the public, and to make justice abstract in the bureaucracy. However, the institution renders services to the people and it does so with the help of the socius. The socius is defined by the functions or roles it represents in the world. These roles are what connect the socius to fellowmen. It is what we become when we are being attached to a social function, and this social function is what limits us or separates us from each other. We are differentiated from one another by our social groups and associations. Just like the neighbor, the socius also has its strengths. For one, the socius has a certain jurisdiction where it can effectively help the people who need its services. Also, because of the division of labor imposed upon the socius, it can concentrate on the task at hand while others concentrate on other tasks. However in the socius, one cannot find the warmth and intimacy that is present in the neighbor. There can be no direct relationship in the socius because what it has is mediate relations. Also, the socius is already being burdened by its attributed social roles, which makes it difficult for the socius to help or get ready for surprise encounters. The Childrens Hour is an organization that aims to help marginalized Filipino children to get access to quality education, health services, and nutrition. Its mission is to educate children, to reduce the rate of malnutrition and hunger, and to fight against cases of child abuse, child trafficking, and sexual exploitation. It also aims to prioritize the poorest and vulnerable families and the excluded groups of children through their different action programs. It delivers justice, specifically justice in equality, by giving the marginalized children adequate access to industries for health, education, nutrition, and other social services. Also, it helps children who were previously abused, sexually exploited, and terrorized by fighting for these cases, and ensuring that justice will be served. As for charity, Childrens Hour is an organization which seeks to promote the public good for the children all over the country. It has different donors that aid them in

their mission, especially that it is a nonprofit and fundraising organization. Childrens Hour does these things by asking individuals or volunteers to donate a minimum of one hours worth of salaries for at least once a year, or to donate at least an hour of helping teach and feed children. The delivery of justice and charity to unfortunate children is definitely long-lasting because once lives are touched with even a single hour of help, those lives will be changed. Children with cleft lip and palate deformities were provided surgery to correct their cleft malformations and to even heal the associated emotional and psychological injuries caused by the deformities. Also, children with congenital heart diseases were provided free surgeries. Another thing is the scholarship program given to children that seeks to help them get better and quality education, and to later on help them join the workforce. These simple gestures toward giving a better life to less fortunate children change the lives of many, even the volunteers who helped in the programs. During the College Fiesta, I helped as a volunteer for the Childrens Hour program held in the Thibault Ground floor of the university. It was a program in cooperation with the City Social Services and Development Office, which also seeks to provide social welfare programs to disadvantaged persons and communities. Children from different locations were brought together in the university, and volunteers were to chaperone one or two of them during the entire period. For almost three hours, I together with a partner, Stephanie accompanied one child named Shane. We helped her win a game, fed her, and played with her. Although it wasnt much of a service, I know we did help her. She obviously enjoyed the program and the food. However if I were to work alone, without the help of the institution, I dont think I will be able to deliver an effective and a long-lasting service to a crowd of underprivileged or helpless people because I would get overwhelmed with their number and I wouldnt be able to focus on their problems, especially that they perhaps might have different kinds of issues to address. However if I were to help a single person at a time, it would be more likely to become an effective service because then, I would be able to help efficiently without minding other peoples problems. My family has a business, and this is where I can find the second dialectic in my life. In the business industry, no matter how related you are with a person or whoever that person is, as long as he or she is your customer, you should treat him or her as one. There is no such thing as friends in a business although you may ask your friends to buy what you sell, etc. But you dont really give them privileges over others who are not your socalled friends. That is the way business works, and that is how my parents operate our business. Business purely and strictly means business but outside the business industry, my family and our family friends remain friends and we actually have personal relationships with them. However, although I need to look outside the context of the socius to find warmth and intimacy, I still need the socius in order to establish my own personal relationships. A good example of this would be the government and Article XV of the 1987 Constitution. Article XV talks about the family, and recognizes it as the foundation of the nation. Specifically, Section 3 paragraph 2 of the said article says: The State shall defend the right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development. Because of this law, I am being well taken cared of by my family and even other people in the society. My personal life is

protected by this law that the socius has promulgated. On the other hand, people who rise up against the evil doings of other people from the institution is when I can find the third dialectic. They do so because the institution tends to become abusive with their power, and authoritative with the way they dominate. A specific example is the recent impeachment trial of the previous Chief Justice Corona. People questioned his integrity and honesty to the public and because of some evidences they found out, they wanted Corona impeached. The neighbor has risen up against the socius. The neighbor wanted to protect the state, and even the government from officials who are not transparent enough to gain its trust. There were people who rallied for the impeachment of the then Chief Justice, and those rallies were representations of how the neighbor rebels against the socius. Sometimes, it is really necessary for the neighbor to rebel against the socius. These times are when the socius is being too evil, too inhumane, and too obstinate. This is because the socius tends to develop its passions for power, and makes the institution as a means to dominate. The socius tends to turn to another road, which is not in service to the people. The neighbor sees and feels this, and it tends to act on it. It voices out what it thinks is right, and rebels against the wrongdoings of the socius. This is necessary in order to help the socius realize what it is actually doing, and for it to go back to the right path. This is, moreover, necessary in order to maintain the equilibrium in the society. Before I hadnt given much thought about the socius and the neighbor, considering that I hadnt learned of them yet. I thought of the neighbor as someone who is in close proximity to me, and will be willing to help me but is not always willing to do so. However after learning about the context of the neighbor in class, I realized that the neighbor isnt what I thought it was. It is more than that; the neighbor is someone who makes it a lifestyle to help, without necessarily being a friend of yours. Also, I wasnt introduced to the term socius before but after understanding it, I discovered the beauty and ills of being a part of the socius. This lesson affected the way I see the world because I can now finally distinguish between the two. I learned that in the socius, there will be no warmth and intimacy to be had. I also learned that being a neighbor is being always ready for surprise encounters. Moreover, I learned that we all need the socius and the neighbor for us to grow into a full human person. We need to be a neighbor and a socius in order for this to happen. For me to become truly, fully human, I have to live the interplay of the socius and the neighbor in my life . In order to become a true and full human being, I need to be a neighbor to others. I need to practice the habit of helping other people and prepare myself for sudden, unexpected events that will need my service. Outside the context of the socius is where I can find true warmth and intimacy, which will develop my personal relationships with other people. However, being a neighbor is not enough. I also need the socius. I need to pass through the institution. The socius has a certain jurisdiction, and it will help me effectively deliver my services. It also has specializations and divisions of labor, which also helps in effectively rendering help. This interplay tells me that I need to interact, and that I must reciprocate the actions of other people with reactions in order to grow. There must be an interaction between the socius and the neighbor because that is when we realize the importance of the two. One cannot survive without the other. The neighbor and the socius are equally important, and to become a full human person, I must live them both.