Good Matters (BM Jul 21 2016)

It was one Saturday morning; Meagan and I were catching a movie. I turned right and slightly hit a divider. The parking was full and we were going to miss the movie. Then I saw this sign about an app, Park Plus, where you park on reserved slots. I asked the guard and he said I need to download the app. My phone had no signal so the guard called the app attendant to assist me in downloading. After parking, the guard noticed that I had a yellow mark in my car, from the divider I hit. I was worried but had to go. When we came out, I noticed the yellow mark was gone. My daughter said maybe it was the rain, but I was curious. Upon paying, I called the guard and asked, “Kayo po ba ang nag-ayos noong dilaw na marka?” (Were you the one who fixed the yellow mark?) He said yes. I said thank you. And I left the place saying to myself, “Good Matters.”

A friend of mine relayed to me how after their grandmother passed away, the elder uncle took their grandparents’ possessions for his own and never shared them to the younger siblings. She told me that she as a daughter felt they lost what they were entitled to as a family, because her father is morally upright and never fought for it. This, and other circumstances we experience and hear, make us question, “Does good really matter in this dog-eat-dog world?”

When we hear, “Take the High Road”, it always seems like a judgy moral compass others impose on us. For me, it has always been considered a personal choice. Why?…because it is “I” who need to face myself in the mirror everyday. It is I who can choose a path I can answer for today and, and for years to come.

In business, there is a connotation that you need to be ruthless to be great. Many a time, even in family matters, it seems the smart one always gets more. Do I judge this as negative? I simply view it as the relativity of focal points. If the focus of the person is financial success, then that’s their “good”.  That’s why I believe the starting point is our set of values.

Good is being “in tune”. It is like a short run, long run question? Can the present situation really define my future? Can I live with the consequences of my decision today? The decision is equally important as the thought process.

Because life is a story. It has a beginning, middle and end. All parts affect each other. Beginning, for me, is childhood to late 20s. End is our moment of passing. Everything else in between is my middle. All these parts affect each other. I saw a situation where a person is “good” in the beginning and choose to stray towards the end. And every single time, that person brings up the past goods to justify the present. In the end, the start did not justify the middle. On the flip side, I also experience that the beginning was a not so good start but the person worked hard to turn things around. The past would still haunt but the person was more at peace in the later years.

I have also learned that “Good” does not mean blind martyrdom. “Good” is “Awared Positivity”. It roots from knowing what is truly important to us and knowing how to defend it. To a certain extreme extent, it is being aware of what legacy you want to leave behind.

Below are some principles I try to impart to my kids to show them that good matters:

  1. “No blurred lenses” – Do not base your actions towards people because of socio-economic status. Regardless if he is a security guard or a CEO, each person deserves equal respect. I feel maybe because the security guard felt respected, he went out of his way to clean the yellow paint in my car.

IMG_3781  This is Marcus with the caretaker’s son, in the house in Baguio we stay in. When we arrived, I invited the son to Marcus’ room to play with his Yokai watch. Then the boy invited Marcus to their place. When Marcus came back, he happily brought a broken toy that he said his “new friend” gave him.

2. “A helpful attitude helps you.” – Open the door for the elderly. Assist a first- time OFW in the airport. I remember in one flight, I was sitting beside a domestic helper. She had problems with his son not being able to support himself now that she was almost retirement. I gave her my business card. She texted me and we gave his son a job. I learned that each time I helped people unconditionally, there is a natural “deposit” to my “joy” grid. Who does not want to be happy.

3. Goodness transcends. – In Finance, “Money begets money”. I would like my kids to know that, “Good begets good”. When we do simple good gestures, specially to troubled people, they see hope. With that hope, begets a hope of positivity. Isn’t it such a good feeling to be part of that journey?

In conclusion, our values are our compasses. Good matters if we choose to act on it. Because more than words, our actions become our kids’ life teacher. And who they become in the future, whether we like it or not, comes back to us, hopefully as a gratifying blessing.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

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