Wednesday, January 14, 2015

5 Cultural Roots That Rob Us of Our Aggressiveness

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done
is generally interrupted by someone doing it.
Elbert Hubbard

  • You ask your husband, "Have you fixed the roof?” He answers, "I'll do it next week.  It leaks only when it rains anyway.”
  • You ask your son, "Have you bought a new battery for the car?” He answers, "Next month. It still starts if you give it a little push anyway…”
  • You ask your friend, "Have you started investing?” He answers, "I'll do that after I get over my bills. Besides, God will provide for my needs…”
  • You ask your sister, "Have you renewed your insurance policy?” "Not yet! Been so busy. So far, nothing bad is happening with me anyway. And if something happens, you'll take care of my kids, right?”

            I agree with my wealthy foreigner friend. 
He said, "I haven't seen a more polite, courteous, and nicer people than the Filipino.”
            This is indeed our strength.
            And that's why we're the best employees in the world.
            That's why our biggest export is Overseas Filipino Workers.
            We export the best nurses, teachers, managers, domestic helpers, engineers, and seamen.
            But our strength is our weakness: We're too subservient, we lack aggressiveness.
            Where does this come from?
            There are 5 Cultural Roots that rob us of our aggressiveness:

1. Haciendero Complex

            When we were mostly farmers, we had a haciendero who would take care of all our needs. Food, housing, education of the kids, hospitalization,…
            To this day, we still want someone to care for us.
            To many Filipinos, the President of the Republic of the Philippines has become the biggest haciendero. The governors and mayors and congressmen have become the new hacienderos. People depend on them. They ask them for everything.
            We've lost our aggressiveness because of the Haciendero complex.

2. Bahala Na! Attitude

            May I give you common examples?
            You ask your son, "Did you study for the tests today?”
            He answers, "Bahala na!”
            You ask your husband, "Did you tune up the car for our trip to Baguio?”
            He answers, "Bahala na!”
            You ask your friend, "Did you go to the doctor for your checkup?”
He answers, "Bahala na!”
            "Bahala na!” means whatever happens, happens.
            It's fatalism. Que sera, sera.
            The word may have come from our old Filipino word, "Bath-Allah” which was our name for God. So "Bahala” could have meant, "I trust God.”
            But we twisted the meaning and made it fatalistic.
3. Lotto Culture

            One day, I was talking to a woman who had large debts.
            I asked her how she plans to pay her loans. 
            She said, "I'm buying lotto tickets.”
            I was about to laugh when I realized it wasn't a joke. This was her only plan.
            Everywhere I go, when I ask the poor, "How will you get rich?” they always give the same answer, "I buy lotto tickets.”
            Nowadays, another kind of lotto has appeared: Noonday TV shows.
            Poor people pin their hopes on winning these contests to rise above their poverty. For the poor, lotto isn't a game.
            It's their only hope.
            I feel so sad. 
            That's why I've made it my passion to teach financial literacy.
            By the way, some people treat network marketing (or multi-level marketing) like the lotto. It's a common invitation. "Join us,” our friend says, "because all you have to do is buy the basic package, ask two friends to join you, and you'll earn millions.”
            That's not true. 
            My close friends who are very successful in network marketing work like crazy. Some of them work 10 hours a day. Believe me, it's not a lotto ticket. It's something better—hard work that's fulfilling and helping people at the same time.

4. Manana Habit

            One man said: "I will stop procrastination—starting tomorrow!”
            It's a close cousin of "Bahala Na!”

5. Crab Mentality

            I mentioned this earlier.
            I've met a lot of people who are afraid of what others will say.
            In our culture, some people will look down on you because you're aggressive.
            Some won't like it that you're aiming too high.
            Some won't like you anymore because you're trying to succeed.
            Some will criticize you because you're becoming wealthy.
            Some will even create dirty gossip about how you got rich.
            I urge you: Don't mind the crabs.
            Fulfill your dreams anyway.

            May your dreams come true,

            Bo Sanchez

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