Thursday, December 1, 2005

When you serve above self, the best is yet to be

Business Times p.B3
Thursday, December 1, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
When you serve above self, the best is yet to be

I AM very happy to hear from a long-lost friend Pasky de los Santos: “Thank you very much for the inspiring feature. I felt very at ease reading the material ‘cause I am an undergraduate, too, and was given this opportunity in PAL to have my “fifteen minutes of fame” as a manager of Domestic Passenger Handling. With the merger of international and domestic passenger services, I am reassigned as admin manager for PSD. More power to you and God Bless!”

Dear Pasky, you are not alone. Many successful people nowadays trace their journey from modest beginnings. District governor Benjie Bacorro and Rotary presidents Abe Candido, Celso Hiwatig, Bert Tato, Joe Villegas are a few of those whose motivation to help others is their own experience of early struggles in life.

Unlike some people with “crab mentality.” There is this guy who left Rotary when I suggested that as classroom guardians at the Tatalon Elementary School, we all should donate one television set and DVD/VCD player for each classroom. He commented, “Why should I give when where my child studies, there is no television set. And I am paying a lot.” He has not yet imbibed the joy of unconditional giving and the story of the widow who gave her last bit of cash to the offering plate. In Rotary we abide by the philosophy that the best is yet to be and the motto “service above self.”

Your story, dear Pasky, is also the story of poet John Milton as he wrote about his blindness.

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

And here are some more examples from the book of Joey Green, The Road to Success is paved with Failure.

• Katie Couric was banned from reading news reports on the air by the president of CNN, who insisted she had an irritating, high-pitched, squeaky voice. After working with a voice coach, Couric became a television news reporter and a popular host on the Today show.

• Babe Ruth was raised in a Catholic school for delinquents in Baltimore. Babe Ruth became the first great home-run hitter in baseball history, hitting 714 runs during his career playing for the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

• Jay Leno applied for a job at Woolworth’s, but failed the employment test. Leno became a popular comedian and succeeded Johnny Carson as host of The Tonight Show.

• Fyodor Dostoyevsky was sentenced to four years of hard labor in Siberia for alleged revolutionary activity. He went on to detail his prison life in his novel Memoirs from the House of Dead, then wrote Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Possessed, and The Brothers Karamazov. He is considered one of Russia’s greatest novelists.

• Pablo Picasso, a poor student in elementary school, was often punished by being sent to the “cell,” a room where he sat on a bench, isolated from the other students. Picasso used his time in solitary isolation to “take a pad of paper and draw nonstop” and became the most famous and innovative painter of the twentieth century, developing cubism.

The important thing to remember when we are down is that we are blessed with time, talents and free will. We can opt to wallow in sorrow and self-pity. Or we could wake up the creative and innovative child in us and do something.

CONGRATULATIONS to the elementary-school teachers of Aurora Quezon, Betty Go-Belmonte, Valencia and P. Tuazon in Quezon City for having completed the requirements and actively participated in the Accelerated Learning Workshop undertaken by the Rotary clubs of QC North, QC Southwest, New Manila South, New Manila Heights, Capitol Hills and Diliman. Their graduation is on Saturday, December 3, at the Aurora Quezon Elementary School. Please say a little prayer for these teachers to have the courage to change their learning methodologies and become more innovative. Eventually, their pupils will benefit from their newly acquired competencies.

Moje is president of Paradigms & paradoxes Corp. and RCQCNorth. Please email your feedback to

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