Sunday, February 21, 2010

Have you earned it?

I came across an ad the other day that said, "Respect can't be built. Only earned." The pitch, I would say, is quite effective in selling to its target market: sophisticated and discriminating customers. I would definitely give the marketer an A+ for the striking statement.

Most of us have been taught that respect is reciprocal. We have to receive respect in order that we may dish it out. It cannot be free of charge. Such is the cost of the virtue that we have to earn it. In some ways, we instantly earn respect by simply being somebody.

I was a disciple of earned respect. In fact, I used to make an accounting of it. Anything received was recorded as debit; if I had been remiss, I would have to guesstimate the value that I had to part with. No way. I had to be precise.

The established norm, however, is wrong. The intellectuals who introduced it to society may have erred. The teaching violates what is proper. Our right to be respected is innate. We do not need to earn it. We already have it, by virtue of birth. Likewise, there is no need for us to build it. What we can do is enhance it. Unfortunately, people give more emphasis to enhanced respect that we forget about the core.

Yes, I was once a disciple, but now I find it bothersome. Advertisements are very powerful in molding our minds. I fear for my two daughters whose values are still immature. I hope they will live not seeing any similar advertisement. My girls will bump into a lot of different people in their lifetime; I pray that Nicole and Stefanie simply deal with others in high regard. I was subscribing to an unfair standard for decades, may they get it right from day one.

Do we really want to live in a world where respect is scarce?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Retiring in fashion

I recently signed up for a memorial plan. Yes, I have been preparing for every kind of retirement imaginable. However, for this one, I did not go for the best that I could afford. I wrote a check for the cheapest casket and service. It should serve its purpose.

For those who are willing to lay luxuriously, the plan provider has something worth over US$20,000. It must be real comfortable in there. Elegant? You bet! Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to try it; I could not be bothered. Like a wedding dress, I believe that the fitting should only be arranged at the most appropriate time. Hopefully, not that soon.

Anyway, I told my wife that I would be happy to go in simple terms. My rationale: I know of this certain VIP who had it all yet chose to be born in a manger and whose funeral was less than decent.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Valentine on the drawing board

Every end of the month, I come up with a summary of the work that we had just accomplished (for that particular month): accomplishments against targets and issues that were hurdled or those that could arise. The report will also include specific goals for the following month and the requirements of those new targets. If not for the said scorecard, it will be like sailing out into the ocean without a compass.

February, as we all know, is popular for being a "heart" month. Of course, we have plans for our clients. The objective is to subtly nurture goodwill. No need for anything elaborate, simple knick-knacks should do the trick.

Businesswise, my plan, our plan for the upcoming occasion is clear. Crystal. However, on the other side of the plane, personalwise, I am still on the drawing board. Or should I be a little more snappy, display an abundance of love at home, live my married life to the fullest, and start sailing purposefully?