Last night, I watched the last episode of the final season of Game of Thrones unfold. It was an end to war, an end to bickering, and an end to the game of thrones.
No matter what your opinion is on the turn the series took, it was an important moment. I watched the first season a few months after it aired in 2011, read the books, and basically grew up with the characters. It’s an end to a chapter in my life.
Just one week prior to this final season, I likewise closed a similar chapter in my life with the end of 2019’s Philippine midterm elections.
For the past months, I’ve been closely involved for the first time in helping several candidates by providing input on their branding strategies and digital campaigns.
Most of these candidates ran at the local government level. Many were Davids facing Goliaths in a bid to bring new faces to leadership. Some were neophytes running for the first time.
In the end, some succeeded. Some didn’t.
Now, they say, the battle has been won. The victors could rest on their laurels, and the voters could carry on with their lives.
But the fanfare over politics should not rise to a crescendo only during the elections. We cannot elect leaders and then leave them to do their job.
We elect, but we also scrutinize. We support, but we also criticize. We assist, and we serve. Democracy is never just an exercise of elections.
In fact, the game of thrones – the elections – is a spectacle. And often, in this spectacle, we forget that for every man or woman who takes a throne, hundreds of thousands work behind the scenes and are already instrumental in solving the problems that politicians promise to address.
In a country with hundreds of thousands of challenges like the Philippines, we will be better off having hundreds of thousands of leaders doing good in their own ways – rather than a few.
We often find the meaning of ‘people power’ skewered in these times. It was never about a political party or a duel between ruling elites. It was about this lesson: Never forget the power that a group of Filipinos have when they work together for a common cause.
Maybe we didn’t get the ending we wanted – whether in Game of Thrones or the elections. But it’s not just about the ending.
It’s where we take the story from here.