Not the Leaders but the Followers

Article excerpt

Byline: Fr. Emeterio E Barcelon

EDITH Nakpil Rabat, a former beauty queen and spouse of a former governor of Davao Oriental, wrote a striking article recently with which I agree. I will quote from her extensively and place them in quotation marks below.

"Actually, it doesnt matter who wins what in May. Even if we resurrect Rizal and Mabini and put them in Malacanang, pack 12 archangels into the Senate, sit the gnomes and elves of China, Japan, Switzerland, and Denmark in our Congress, Giuliani and Lee Kwan Lew in the capitols and city halls, were not going to get out of the misery hole were in, if the rest of us remain the clueless, selfish, irresponsible stumble-bums weve been for a long time."

There seems to be a weariness among many about the discussion on the qualities of our leaders and are shifting focus on the citizens. If we want to become a rich, respectable, enviable country, Nakpil enumerates a few things each one must do. (I will then add my own comments.)

PUNCTUALITY. "Be on time always but especially at the work place." Lateness is often called Filipino time but this is really rural time. The same tardiness happens in other places in transition. In the farms, time is not by the clock but by the rising of the sun or its setting. But we do need to make a conscious effort to make the shift. Dra. Trining dela Paz insisted on starting meetings on time. Because she said you are rewarding and re-enforcing bad habits of late comers. To be on time you should try to be ten minutes ahead of appointment time to cut down chances of being late.

EXCELLENCE or quality. "Do your work, whatever it is, faster, better, cleaner, neater, more attractively, with the most efficiency and least fuss and expenditure of resources than any one else. Make excellence a habit. …