Monday, October 18, 2021

Valderrama: No guarantees

She Writes

NO one has a monopoly on knowledge and good ideas. If we are employed, others can always take over our job. Somebody can do it better; others will perform with mediocrity. If we think we have shared brilliant ideas, others can add more. Some will share something significant; others will add some twists.

It has always been like that. The world is round. Somebody said what might be the end may only be just the beginning.

Just like the kind of work or position we have now. Before we get that work or position, we have to prepare ourselves. We worked hard to get the education we need, we trained, we found ways to be equipped with technology and trends, and we connected with people.

Because we have prepared ourselves for a brighter future, the direction, therefore, is to move up. But moving up or being promoted in the workplace isn’t easy. We need to prove ourselves first and, of course, we need the approval of the signing authority.

So, when we say one is eyed for a particular position, there is no guarantee yet. It is an impression, an opinion unless the signing authority says so. People create impressions when they see competence thus seeing the logic of a bright future as consequence.

Isn’t it wonderful to always think of a brighter future for yourself and others? Isn’t life more meaningful if the stairs ahead of us allow us to move up unscathed? Isn’t life undisturbed when we encourage rather than discourage?

This reminds me of Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus.

Here, the two main characters -- Stripe and Yellow, both caterpillars -- realized there is more to life than eating leaves. Stripe wanted to get up into the sky but what he saw was a pillar of caterpillars struggling to get up too.

He met Yellow who also wanted to get up into the sky by climbing to the top of the pillar. But she felt bad to literally step on and climb over all the other caterpillars who are also trying to reach the top of the pillar.

Stripe wanted to be there on top, so he focused and drove to reach the top but stepped on some caterpillars. He succeeded at being on top, but he was disillusioned. He asked himself, “Is this all there is at the top?”

He just had a view of other caterpillars struggling to reach the top of their respective caterpillar pillars. He had not seen the sky yet. Yellow, however, has followed her instincts, continued to eat, and then twirled a cocoon. She eventually emerged from the cocoon and transformed into a butterfly and flew into the sky effortlessly.

She has found the real answer to the feeling that there must be more to life than eating leaves and who caterpillars really are. Eventually, Stripe followed what she did, and they flew to the sky together without stepping on other caterpillars.

Simple story. Full of wisdom. And the truth is, Stripe and Yellow exist in the workplace and community. Some would wait for the right time to shine and soar after all the hard work, preparations, and grit while others force themselves to be on top unmindful of others who have worked so hard and are almost there.

If you are given the opportunity because you deserve it and worked hard for it, the more you strive to do better and make a difference. If you are given the opportunity out of mere luck, you cultivate skills so you end up harvesting what you have planted.

But if you are almost there and somebody sow intrigue or pull you down out of jealousy and insecurity then that would be a different story.

Anybody has the potential to become a teacher, superintendent, director, chief, president. Anyone has the potential to be the authority.

When the president himself eyed Secretary Leonor M. Briones to be the next Secretary of Education because of her credible records and accomplishments, he knew he found the right person for the position. So as the authority, he didn’t waste time making her as the Education Chief.

And he was right.

The Department of Education, even in the challenges brought by this pandemic, continues its mandate with focus and valor under the great leadership of Secretary Liling.

It is true that work opportunities are limited. Promotions do not happen all the time. No one is guaranteed with work or positions until duly given in black and white especially in government service.

But what is the guarantee here?

When you do your job well and treat others fairly, when you show kindness, when you allow others to grow and shine as you did, people will remember you with fondness and write about you with gratitude.

We have heard stories of children and grownups who said they cannot remember the lessons in the classroom, but they can remember how their teacher took care of them.

We have heard stories of employees who treat their work as just a routine, but a spark of hope and excitement ignites when their bosses recognize their work or acknowledge their presence.

Yes, there are no guarantees. But we can build our future. We just need to double our efforts and triple our patience.


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