IN THIS era of fast food and fast lanes, the public’s mindset, behaviors, physical conduct, food habit, have also undergone change, in some cases, so fast and dramatic albeit unnoticed in many cases.
For this, I urged everybody to hold nothing sacred, to keep re-engineering and innovating things, so it is able to cope with the changes, if not, prepare to get insane.
We need changes, or specifically, improvements in our thought processes and practices, quality of life. But if it only means to keep us going or sustaining without a clear sense of purpose - it is as meaningless as being aimless.
In this turbulent times, it is important to establish our timeless fundamentals – ideology, core values, identity, heritage, and character.
These timeless fundamentals constitute our DNA, that is, who we are, what we are made of, our reason for being, regardless of time and space. These are the things that will stand the tests of times even if they were shaken and confused by some countervailing factors in certain times.
In the words of Jimmy Collins, the famous author of the Building Companies to Last, fundamentals make a number of companies last for 100 years and more.
Walt Disney is a classic example. Its company’s core ideology is built on making people happy.
Disneyland employees are “cast members.” Customers are “guests.”
Jobs are “parts” in a “performance.”
Disney required—as the company does to this day—that all new employees go through a “Disney Traditions” orientation course.
Despite the turbulent times, they have gone through, even though the Great Depression of the 1930s, the financial crisis in the 80s, and again in this decade, Walt Disney remains a strong company, touching hearts and minds worldwide.
The same fundamentals hold the Granite Rock, a rock-and-asphalt business in the United States, and recipient of the 1992 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Its key officials Bruce and Steve Woolpert hate the word “employees” instead he popularized the image that its company employees and officers are “Granite Rock People.”
And not just anyone can be a Granite Rock Person. Bruce and Steve Woolpert have a deeply rooted ideology of quality, service, and fairness that harks back to the early days of this century, and if you don't accept that ideology, you simply don’t belong at Granite Rock.
The list of these classic companies is long, worldwide and here.
In the Philippines, there are also a few, which developed such important fundamentals, reason why they last till now.
These fundamentals hold true also for societies and nations.
Few of our cities have stood the culture shocks of urbanization and “foreign values” and keep their heritage and identity.
Iloilo is one classic example. It was able to keep its strong sense of humility, sense of respect, thriftiness, simplicity, and harmony with nature despite the offensive of modern life and values brought by urbanization.
Old structures, traditions, and practices remain highly visible even with the rise of modern structures, and onslaughts of commercialism.
Baguio is another one, for despite its colonial imprints and the destructive development of the lowlanders, the people of the city and around it remain true to its highland cultural roots and deep union with nature.
Highland handicrafts and artworks are truly reflective of their heritage and identity.
Bohol stands to be counted for the same. The Dagohoy identity remains strong among the Boholanons; that of resilience, reliance and dependence on their own local strength and resources before seeking outside help.
The strong social transparency and accountability and simplicity of Boholanons are best demonstrated in Tagbilaran City’s refusal to the entry of known supermalls.
Instead, they boosted local business and entrepreneurs to put up their own shopping malls so that money flow would not be siphoned out of the city and province.
In this three examples alone, it is their people and the local leadership that made it possible to keep their identity and heritage preserved, even enhanced amid the rapid changes.
However, there are also cities and urban centers whose identity and heritage are lost, distorted or bastardized because of their local leaders’ lack of historical rooting and corrupt governance, and the apathy of the people.
Well, to change or not, to be or not to be, is a question that becomes unnecessary, if we know the fundamentals, the treasures that we have, that we are, that we want to be.
An old adage says, if we don’t have fundamentals, anything will do and will bring us to nowhere.
The depth of our grasp of our fundamentals will determine the quality of our growth in our journey.
But those who have little or no fundamentals, are bound to fail the tests of this brutal world.