The Philippine Daily Inquirer interviewed National Social Scientist Maria Lourdes Arellano Carandang, a noted clinical psychologist. A week after Reyes killed himself, kids she said were asking questions such as, “Is Secretary really a hero?” or “Why is he a hero?” Children, she said were confused. Psychologists asked back fishing for answers, “Is killing yourself, a good thing?”
Here’s an excerpt:
“Children are innate truth-tellers until we teach them to lie by our example. We should pay attention to the help schools can give,” Carandang said.
She cited the child in the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” who blurts out, “But he’s naked!”
“Children see the truth, but sometimes we prevent them from telling it. We model the opposite of truth-telling. We should be aware because kids pick up how adults behave. As they grow older, it becomes harder for them to be truth-tellers because of the pressure of modeling of the adult,” she said.
Carandang noted that during Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s presidency, “truth-telling was hazardous to your life.”
“We shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Her cover-ups have become too much,” she said.
And while some political leaders insist that it’s time to forgive, forget and move on, Carandang warned against “moving on without healing in the sense of knowing the truth.”
“We must tell the true story. Truth is needed for us to move on. Even in the mourning process, a person has to tell her story,” she said, adding:
“Our country cannot truly heal from all the traumas we’ve been through unless the truth is told and we tell our true story. Let’s not keep covering up our sins. We cannot recover from our trauma as a country if we don’t tell our true story and own it.”