Time­less fun­da­men­tals

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

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 rockand-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.*

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