Thursday, June 1, 2006

The joy of sacrifice

Business Times p.B3
Thursday, June 1, 2006

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
The joy of sacrifice

“In your topic ‘Leading the Generations,’ you have dismissed those belonging to the Patriarchal Generations as gone and vanished from the business scene. I was born in 1931 and spent my childhood during WWII, but at my age of 75 I am still active in business. I am in the midst of writing a study and aim to implement the construction of a new city around Lake Caliraya at Lumban, Laguna. I am linking up with the PNB of Dr. Lucio Tan, DBP of the Philippine Government, to build a new city with the most enhanced ecology for the retirees from the United States, Europe and Japan in mansions or pensions built along the cultural rich Spanish-type homes amid plantations of ornamental plants and flowers. Can me an indication of my business paradigm. I will be associating mostly with the Baby Boomers.

“I am internationally oriented, appreciating the culture we inherited from Spain and the Americans at the turn of the century. My father is a Professor of History educated by the Thomasites and the early Baptist Missionaries in the City of Iloilo has in its logo, “La Noble y Leal Ciudad de Iloilo,” meaning we were not part of the Philippine Revolution, our hero, Graciano Lopez Jaena, like Jose Rizal, wanted reforms for the Philippines represented in the Spanish Cortez and not independence from Spain, realizing that we were not ready for self rule.”

Congratulations and I definitely agree with you, Ms. Granada. My own mother just turned 80 and is living an independent and productive life. I still run to her for advice and financial help.

This reminds me of what Kim Woo Choong, founder and chairman of Daewoo, wrote about his lessons learned from spiders in his book Every Street Is Paved with Gold: The Road to Real Success. “There is a kind of spider that skillfully lays a large number of eggs in the bark of a tree and proceeds to disguise them with her web. After a period, the baby spiders hatch, and the mother spider, with no thought of herself, goes about the business of finding food for her babies just as all animals and insects do. When the baby spiders are strong enough to catch their own food, however, the exhausted mother dies.

“Even more surprisingly, in another species of spider, the mother feeds herself to the babies. It seems a bit unbelievable, but the mother’s body provides sufficient nutrients for the baby spiders. It is very moving to note that the life of the baby spiders depends on the sacrifice and death of their mother, that the mother has to die for the babies to live.

“In the same sense, the prosperity of a future generation depends on the sacrifices made by the current generation. Indeed there can be no prosperity without sacrifice. On the more personal level, the happiness of children depends on the sacrifices made by parents. The sweat and tears of one generation result in joy for the next. By the same token, lazy, irresponsible parents forge a trail of misery for their children. This is true of every prosperous nation; prosperity is built on the sacrifices of an entire generation.

“The child plucks the fruit from a tree the grandparent planted. If there is no tree, there is nothing for a child to pick. If an entire generation thinks only of itself, what will be left? Even if we are not around to pick the fruit, we have the responsibility to plant the trees. What a joy it is to think of grandchildren plucking from the tree and reflecting on what their grandparents did and why they did it.”

Moje, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp., wants to get your feedback at

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