Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Why do we need to protect children’s rights?  Find the answer by reading this collection of quotes from people who have shown exemplary efforts to protect them.

1. It is an act of compassion that each of us must practice as citizens of this world.

“Great persons are able to do great kindnesses.” -Miguel de Cervantes

“The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.” -George Bernard Shaw

In my life time, I learned that  indifference- the opposite of compassion and empathy- is one of the reasons in making this world poor, lonely and unsafe to live. The lack of compassion to others causes suffering or even death to some.

We hear news of children who become victims of abuses like ending up as sex slaves, or being raped or even being murdered. These happen because of people’s indifference. Adults, whom children are expecting to protect them, do not perform their responsibilities. Sad truth is, these people whom they trust and respect are mostly the same who fail children’s expectations and are causing their mishap.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion…” -The Apostle Paul (Col 3:12)

The Word is clear: we must clothe ourselves with compassion. It is indeed, greatness too to practice kindness especially to the little ones, the helpless and the vulnerable.

We should also remember that no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted (Aesop) since this always makes a difference- it blesses both the  receiver and the giver (Barbara de Angelis). Compassion does not only brings comfort to the receiver but also happiness to the giver. Quoting the Dalai Lama, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

What peaceful and happy world this could be if everyone is compassionate especially to children!

2. No one else will protect the children except the adults whom they depend on.

 “We’ve got to work to save our children and do it with full respect for the fact that if we don’t no one else is going to do it.”  -Dorothy Height

“I speak for those children who cannot speak for themselves, children who have absolutely nothing but their courage and their smiles, their wits and their dreams.” -Audrey Hepburn

Children whose brain is like a sponge, ready to soak up everything it touches, remember everything- the good and the bad ones that they experience in life. For these very reason, adults must be extra careful in teaching them or setting as an examples since young people see their parents, family, friends, teachers and sports or activity coaches as largely positive influences in their lives. What adults say or do to children leaves remarkable impact on how they will eventually turn as adolescents in  the long run: a child abused today can become social deviant tomorrow, or the child well taught today can become a great leader in the future.

3. This world we borrow from our children. Therefore, it is our moral obligation to make this earth a peaceful, healthy and safe place for them to live.

“We are the ancestors of our grandchildren. We look after them, just as our ancestors look after us. We aren’t here for ourselves. We are here for each other and  for the children of our grandchildren.” -Roy Sesana

We must recognize that children have vital role in nation-building; that we should promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, psychological and social well-being (Philippine Constitution, Article II, Section 13); that we should guarantee the fundamental rights of every child from all forms of neglect, cruelty and other conditions  prejudicial to their developments (RA No. 9775, Section 2A).

4. Just like women, men, senior citizens, physically challenged, and indigenous culture, a child has rights, too.

“A child, like all other human beings, has inalienable rights.” -Lucrecia Mott

If we recognize that just like other human beings, children have inalienable rights too, it would be easier for adults to respect each child. That respect would somehow lead to hearing their voices  and taking action after hearing them. This is important especially in issues and concerns of the young generation. It is vital that their opinion matters. It is equally necessary that we support and extend help during their dire needs.

5. As adults of this generation, we must set good examples to children so that they may grow their faith in humanity and become great examples, too later.

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6

 “Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful world from our parents and they from their parents.                            It is in our hands whether our children and their children inherit the same world.” -Richard Branson 

“Help us show children around the world that we can make a difference together.” -Bradley Whitford

In this real world, there are no super heroes to protect the abused children; only parents, teachers, friends and other support groups. When fear is prevalent, we only have each other to comfort; when there is slavery and abuses, again, we only have the rest of us to fight against these.

Why is it important that adults set good examples to children? So that they become the best persons they can be when they grow old. And why it is important that children  should grow their faith in humanity? Because if they don’t that will be the end of a better start for a brighter future.

6. If we speak in behalf of our children, we represent the same issues of humanity.

“…in serving the best interests of the children, we serve the best interest of all humanity.” -Carol Bellany

Have you heard the story of Ellah Joy Pique, a 6 year old victim in Cebu, who was kidnapped and later murdered? Police considers the angle of pedophilia and child pornography for her death. Her body was wrapped in white cloth, tied with wires and thrown in a cliff back in 2011. Many grief, showed support and up to now, are seeking justice for her death. Her story made her issue their issue, too. Now, many had been fighting to stop this cruelty from ever happening again not only to other children but to general public as well.

 7. If we keep blind to abuses, keep silent to suffering and keep indifferent to death  of morality, we are the same as the greedy, murderers and evil doers because we encourage them, not stop them from their  works.

“If we don’t stand up for children then we don’t stand for much”. -Marian Wright Edelman

“When the lives and the rights of children are at stake, there  must be no silent witnesses.” -Carol Bellamy

A meaningful quote from Elie Wiesel elaborating why indifference is an epitome of evil: The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death. 

This means that if we fail to care, we succeed the evil works. When we fail to expose the abusers because we don’t care for the victims,  then we are one of the accomplices. In the environment where hostility resides, we should take sides since at all times, neutrality benefits the oppressor and not the victims (Elie Wiesel).

 8. The way we treat our children reflects our moral system. 

“It was once said that the moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of their life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.” -Hubert Humphey

“Children reflects the quality of life… when our children are happy, then we are better as human beings.”                                   -Whoopi Goldberg

A beautiful quote also from Mahatma Gandhi which states that a nation’s greatness is tested by how it treats its weakest members, like the children, the elderly, the sick, the needy and the handicapped. So true especially for democratic society where the people’s voices should be heard since they are the ones who choose their  leaders through their votes. Although, children may not yet cast their numbers during election, it is equally important that their general welfare are taken care of.

9. Children are our future.

“There can be no global security without respect for children. We have to be more than just observers of children’s suffering; we have to be partners with them in their struggles.” -Landon Pearson

If we want to leave a better place for our children and grandchildren, we must teach and show today’s children concern: we must uphold their self- esteem, teach them right values of life, protect their general rights and provide them the same responsibility to make the world a beautiful, peaceful, healthy, and safe place to inhabit, one generation at a time.

10. As people who believe in Jesus Christ, we cannot be like Him if we don’t show compassion to others especially to children.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me, to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea”. -Jesus warns. Found in Matthew 18: 2-6

We must protect the rights of children not only because it is our moral obligation to do so as cosmopolitans but also as a children of the Divine creator. We must be compassionate, just as our Father is compassionate to us (Luke 6:36).

Sources:

http://www.topbibleverses.com

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/cebudailynews/news/view/20110401-328729/Police-seek-hold-departure-order-against-Cebuana-and–British-boyfriend

http://gervacio.wordpress.com/tag/crime/

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Elie_Wiesel

http://www.betterworld.net/quotes/children-quotes-4.htm

http://www.tentmaker.org/Quotes/kindnessquotes.htm

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/indifference_2.html

http://www.chanrobles.com/philsupremelaw1.htm

Author’s Note:

This article is part of the author’s speech in an Anti- Child Pornography Forum on March 11, 2012 at Brgy. San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City, Philippines.

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How many careers, relationships and future job opportunities have been destroyed by office politics? Numbers are in question but the sad news is, this is present in every company whether small, medium or large enterprises, government or privately owned. We do not want to be a victim of politicking, so below are some tips on how to handle the situation that is inevitable such as this:

1.      Choose appropriately.

In everything, we must remember that we have a choice- the right words to say, right actions to push through, right message we want to deliver, right impressions we want to leave with the people around us and right timing, are decisions we usually have to make. So before we decide on anything, choose appropriately and always think the consequences.

2.      Avoid self-fulfilling prophesy.

This is a theory saying any positive or negative expectation about circumstances, events or people that may affect a person’s behaviour toward them in a manner that causes those expectations to be fulfilled. An employer who, for example expects the employees to be disloyal will likely to treat them in a way that will elicit the very response he or she expects (Source: http://www.businessdictionary.com).

If a superior thinks that a person is incompetent and told him about it, possibility is, he will think that the statement is true because his boss said so. Sad to say, this negative vibe is mostly present in office politics. We usually “gossip” about the weaknesses of other person we are not in good terms with. This practice must be stopped. Judging other people in a very limited scale is often scary and detrimental. We do not want to climb up the ladder of success having people stepped down, do we? Or do we want to be judged also by some other persons? To stop politicking is to stop finding faults of others and comparing ourselves to them. Most important, stopping the negative expectations in people within the four corners of the room.

3.      Be sincere in relationship-building efforts.

Not just because we want to establish our own “circle of friends” does not mean we have to compromise sincerity in relationship-building efforts. Yes, we may choose our chums and comrades but that is not an excuse to us meeting and befriending other individuals. Creating our own allied in the office does not mean we have to grumble people dissimilar with us. They say, office politics is a number’s game: the more connections, the better. Stop this mind set. Remember, we are in the office to do our job, so perform. Make friends instead of foes. Show sincerity in dealing with people.

4.      Stay positive.

Accept that flak is a normal part of life since we cannot please everybody. Never waste your time worrying over issues such as what other people are thinking or saying or doing against you. Relax. Let go all of the opposing views and don’t mind them if you think you are not in a defensive side. Breathe. Live your life as if no one really cares but be mindful that you stay on the right track.

5.      Take a stand.

Others advise to stay neutral when left to decide which side they have to choose. This is unhealthy; prefer taking stand, instead since we cannot serve two masters at one time. Life is two sided: it is white or black, left or right, good or evil. But choosing our side does not mean we have to always tell it in public. We can keep it a secret especially if we feel it is safer or it will resolve a conflict. Important is, we took a stand. To act is another issue.

6.      In case of conflict, remember the “good-nature” of people.

People may say or do bad things to us; that is something out of our control. The saying from Gandhi that says, “hate the sin, love the sinner”, seems difficult to do. In situations when we have to fight back, cursing and hitting below the belt are sometimes the best strategies to use. But again, avoid these things as possible. In case of conflict, we must remember the “good-nature” of people despite their flaws. If it appears that relationships will be seriously and permanently marred; re-evaluate and re-think. We don’t want to lose people about something that are usually irrelevant.

7.      Don’t forget your ethics.

Respect is the key word. We can be assertive but courteous and professional. When heat rise up, don’t add up coal and increase the flame. We may distance ourselves by going out of the room or not talking to the person at the moment we are very angry. Again, this is hard to do but practice helps. Remember, we spent years in mastering our courses so never allow a few show of disrespect to ruin everything we invested our time and effort in the past.

8.      Forgive and move on.

Humans err so we must forgive. But forgiving does not mean we have to forget. We should not forget because we need to learn from the experience. Only in this way we will prevent the mistake from re-occurring. Move on and let go of the hurts. Let the dead bury its own dead. Stop worrying over the things we can’t control. Life must continue, anyway.

 

Workplace politics is a fact of life but playing the game does not have to be dirty. Promote our talents, grow our personalities, and reach our goals but never at the expense of others. Remember the golden rule: Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.

We learned from Mahatma Gandhi the lesson that violence is not the pre requisite to win in every battle, aside from this, below are other words of wisdom and source of inspiration to all aspiring leaders.

1. Humility is the character of the great

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

 “I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”

Humility is best expressed in actions: to accept that you err and to learn from it; to get advice from mentors who know the job better; to realise your weaknesses and to derive from it strengths, instead; and to know your limitations but to maximise opportunities, as well.

To be humble is not only a wise thing to do but also a great act that will never go out of fashion. Observe successful people and you will realise that as they go up the ladder of success, the more they stay their feet on the ground.

2. Action is stronger than words

 “Action expresses priorities.”

 “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”

 “To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”

Many times we heard that actions speak louder than words; and Gandhi proved it right.

A man cannot adduce anything unless he shows results, and this output can be done through actions only: people with integrity do not engage in nefarious activities; a virtuoso cannot dish out unfinished tasks.

To say that you believe in something but does the opposites of each teaching would mean disbelief. Action proves better than the words you utter.  

 3. Constant change is achieved through constant learning

 “Constant development is the law of life; and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.”

 “A man is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks he becomes.”

 “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

 “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

 “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world- that is the myth of the atomic age-as in being able to remake ourselves.”

 “Healthy discontent is the prelude to progress.”

They say, the only constant thing in this world is change. As professionals who aspire success in the future, we should pursue for this. But it should be positive change and not the other way around. To grow and to learn is part of progress. Every one must change from time to time- that means to be creative, innovative and pursue excellence always. Constantly learning in everything that we experience is a courageous step to improve.

4. Change starts from within

 “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

 “My life is my message.”

 “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

A person who wishes to see change in his surrounding must start within himself. Discipline.  Right attitude. Good habits. These are essentials in constantly developing into a person who may also serve as catalyst of change for humanity. Change to become the best you can be and start to see a change in this world.

 5. Leadership without people is not leadership

 “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”

I learn that leadership is not only for community organisers, team sports enthusiasts, politicians and businessmen but also in anything that we do that involves getting along with people. You can be a leader in doing a specific project in a given time (e.g. handle men and women during bible study, etc.) or have a specific goal just like with other people around (e.g. stop demolition and uphold human rights).

Leadership involves individuals who are willing to follow instructions from a leader. Without these people, who like the leader, aim for a specific vision, there can be no leadership at all.

So to be called a leader, the first thing to do is to find a group of living souls who will recognise you as one. The last thing is to stay the same person they look up to.

6. Saying “No” is as important as saying “Yes”

 A “No” uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a “Yes” merely uttered to please, or worse to avoid trouble.”

A good leader knows when to say “No”. Although, the work of a leader involves pleasing people most of the time, saying “No” for a valid reason, in a proper timing and with conviction is better than saying “Yes” half-heartedly.

 7. Persistence is as essential as other positive qualities

 “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”

 Achieving a goal requires persistence. We cannot reach a specific target at one hit so it is better to try again and again until we are satisfied with the result. Persistence is a good quality one possesses because it involves hard work, patience and learning from mistakes; these are all essentials in building success.

8. Believe in the good nature of people

 “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean, if a few drops of the ocean are dirty not everything in it is dirty.”

As a leader, we may encounter diverse group of individuals with a lot of differences. But it is OK. My professor once told us that diversity is healthy for check and balance. The challenge comes in the way handling them.

Sometimes, we may be frustrated when other people are quite difficult to manage. Again, it is OK. If we believe that humanity is formed by good natured people and generally, difficult people are also human beings, we will be inspired to handle them with ease. As a leader, learning each time on how to get along with various people despite differences is a good practice in becoming more effective.

9. Leadership does not mean seriousness and busy-ness compromising laughter and fun working with people around

 “If I had no sense of humour, I would long ago have committed suicide.”

Serious-at-work does not mean suppressing laughter and fun. Sometimes, when we get too serious, people fail to get our message as well as our objective. If we keep on sticking to rules all the time compromising better relationship with people will exhaust positive energy at work. Mostly, people wants to be inspired based on enthusiasm than fear; to be coached than to be drove; to look up to someone who helps to fix the breakdown than to fix the blame for the breakdown; and to have a leader that says “Let’s go!” instead of “Go!”.

A good leader makes his people love to reach their goals by having laughter and fun at work from time to time. Of course, that does not mean forgetting the excellence standards and business ethics the company already have. It only adds up some sugar to spice in the office settings.

 10. Unity makes history

 “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the cause of history.”

If a leader and his followers pursue the same goal, with the same enthusiasm, same positive attitude, same strategy and same expectations, absolutely, they will make history.

 A leader to unify his team mates must coach them, must not depend on authority but on goodwill, instead; and must show how things are done than just to know how things work. It is equally important that a team works as one and allow them to grow as separate individuals in pursuing a common goal.