Thursday, June 14, 2007

Angel VS Devil: Cultivate the strong, cull the weak

I reluctantly went back to my old job teaching English to young Koreans. Adult world is far more complicated as I had expected, thinking I could live off with my mother's money in the next billion years. Turned out I had the innate need to work for my own money, spend it as wisely as I can (on clothes, shoes and bags) and be proud to tell everyone one I live on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis. It gives a little thrill to my rather dull and boring bratty life.

This afternoon, our newly appointed manager decided to include 'call-back' teachers (the ones who worked there previously and are granted teaching load again) to a Behavior Orientation meeting with Mr. Ahn, our company owner and president. Along the way, he asked what happened to the Philippines' economy when it was eleven times stronger than that of South Korea forty years ago. The teacher beside me said it was primarily due to the corrupt and inept officials we have. Mr. Ahn, who will later I would admire as a businessman, disagreed. He pointed out that their government is also quite corrupt. It could be a reason for the declining economy, but what sustains it?

He answers because our leader is, according to him, an ANGEL and theirs is a DEVIL. This was met with a wide range of disagreement. For one, I will never agree to an idea, even if it is as such, that GMA is flying on white wings on her little white robe. It is torture to even call her president, much more an angel.

I finally got his idea of angel/devil when he drew a triangle and said that the Philippines, as kind culture we have, tends to focus more on the people on the bottom of the pyramid, the not so good workers, while practically ignoring the 'top performers'. Now, you ask, what is the connection of this pyramid to a success of one's country?

Mr. Ahn points out that we Filipinos do not know differentiation. We tend to view everybody as equal, which is okay in a humanitarian point of view, but not on the basis of economic progress. Because of this, our 'top performers' are easily discouraged when they see that the government pays more attention to the 'not so good workers'. They (government) tend to focus more on how to alleviate the suffering of the weak and the poor, while the strong and abled are left to expand their talents somewhere else. The 'not so good workers' now tend to be so independent to 'dole outs' and would not really strive for success, as there is always somebody there to help them. It is like rewarding those who do nothing but be poor.

Korea believes the opposite. He said that in his country, the 'top performers' are rewarded far more than the others, which in turn encourages and motivates the others to be 'top performers' to enjoy such benefits. Which also tantamount to retaining skilled workers in their own country to benefit their own people. So Koreans continuously strive for perfection for they strongly believe that for success to be achieved they have to cultivate the strong and cull the weak, as barbaric as it may sound.

Made me think. I'm all for equal chances-- rich, poor, whatever. But I also do not agree in investing in something of no use. Better we develop the talents and abilities of our own people before they sell their services to foreign soil. But what do I know, I'm just a 20 year-old girl who got her ideas from a chinky-eyed businessman who cannot even speak straight English and ironically owns an international English academy.

How about you, what do you think?

 Add this blog to your feeds.


the philosphical bastard said...

interesting perspective. we can safely say then that to rid the country of poverty, the only way is to kill the poor. then we would be left only with a tax-paying public who are worthy of their jobs, who will make use of their money wisely and will help our economy.

sounds like a good idea. now, how do we kill the masses?

joyfulchicken said...

This is a very interesting entry. I think Mr. Ahn is mostly right, but he didn't get to the root cause of the problems he described: democracy. Hmm, maybe that can be a blog topic for me, heh.

lei said...

paolo that, my friend, is the question. how about sunugin lahat ng squatter areas? im kidding, of course. ^_^

joyfulchicken hmmm democracy. tell me what you propose. hehe

Alternati said...

What a grand idea. It almost always takes an outsider to give an objective observation of a situation (rather than us knee dip in this economy)

You should totally text GMA and tell her this idea. :P

Lisa said...

While I agree with Mr. Ahn's observations, merely focusing on excellence will not rid the country of poverty. It's the whole political system that sucks. The politicians have to keep the people poor and ignorant so they can stay in power and steal all they can. And all power, even economic is vested in these scoundrels.

Korea is giving/lending their poor the equivalent of Php25,000,000 to get out of Korea at miniscule interest rates. That's why they're here in the Philippines.

But it's cheaper and more profitable to keep our poor here, you see. Or to send them abroad to do menial jobs so they can remit hard-earned money to be wasted by lazy relatives here and keep this lousy economy going.

Welcome back, Lei!

lei said...

alternati bummer i don't have her number. lol

lisa it's a start. oh so that explains why most of the Koreans here are ill-mannered? 0_o

thanks lisa. ^_^

Poli said...

I agree with Mr. Ahn. However I think that our problem roots to a different, more complex matter. And I don't think it's corruption as corruption is just a symptom of the bigger problem.

Hay, hindi ba nakakasar magturo ng mga Koreans? Pagkatapos nilang mag-aral dito e gagamitin nila yung mga natutunan nila para lalo silang umunlad samantalang ang mga nagturong mga Pilipino e ganun pa rin!

lei said...

poli hindi naman, i teach kids eh. basically, i can bully them around hehe ^_^ some of them are really sweet and nice, but then there's always that rotten tomato aka bratty kid.

tina said...

tama nga naman. kaya maganda ang pamumuhay nila and their business because of that.

our government gives them stuffs kaya nagiging dependent sila and i guess it also got something to do with attitude and thinking.

you know,.. how some people can be so negative putting themselves down and all.. "i wont be any good. i wont be rich" and guess what? they got what they said.. and they blame rich people for having too much. buhay nga naman.

i like koreas style it works for them ... and made them better people.

Anonymous said...

Anuman ang katayuan ang bawat tao sa isang bansa, ito man ay isang napakayaman at matagumpay na mamumuhunan, mahirap at naghihikahos na mamamayan, o ex-boyfriend na katulad ko, ay marapat lang na mag-ambag para sa ikatataguyod ng bansang kinalulugaran nila.

Hindi naman nating tuwirang masisisi ang gobyerno sa kung anumang estado meron ang bansa natin ngayon. Wala rin naman itong kinalaman sa kung anumang uri ng gobyerno meron tayo, maging ito ay demokrasya, pederal, monarkiya, anarkiya, o pederasyon (ay titah!~).


Nasa kamay ng bawat tao ang pagtataguyod nito. Kung gusto nila ng pagbabago, marapat lamang na simulan nila sa mga sarili nila. Maliit man o malaki ang maitutulong nila, isa na itong ambag sa bansa. Malawakang pagtutulungan.

Jake The Miserable po, para Senador. Yuck.

lei said...

tina well, it took one great leader to turn them around. and a very tight nation to make it happen.

jake o syempre, we need guidance and leadership. we can not pursue our own ideas per se, and go in individual directions. ang key dito, pagkakaisa. one nation. iisa ang patutunguhan.

silverfork said...

Poli, ok din naman na lumalago yung industry ng pagtuturo ng english sa koreans...Napansin ko na simula non parang mas madami na din tourists na Korean sa bansa natin. Tingin ko nakakatulong yan sa bansa natin, sa tourism industry. As in, kay dami nila. Balita ko nga sa may Taal Volcano, may mga nais mag-invest na Koreans para idevelop yun. (Although syemps issue pa ang value nung particular na venture na yun para sa mga locals...the bigger picture is ok sila for promoting the Philippines)

Saka kaya natin tong mga Pilipino. :-) Yun na nga ang challenge sa tin. Makisabay sa pagkuha ng opportunities para umunlad tayo.