Friday, September 22, 2017

Motivation in Public Service

By:  Ambassador Henrietta T. De Villa
First National Assembly of Education Leaders, PICC Manila Philippines, Sept. 20- 22, 2017


Why is the heart so important because it is where all dealings are made?  There is the heart.  The heart is the first organ that is visible. Engaging your heart is vital because you have the power, you have the means and you have the captive subject to shape a new and different future for the country. I hope you are very excited about what you do.  Yes, o yes, you have to be because it is always an adventure and an adventure to newness really is quite exciting.  Servant leaders of the nation with a heart, a pure heart, a clean heart, a compassionate heart.  And you have the power to chart a new course for our country that could even impact our ASEAN nations to draw them out, to draw us out, of the grab mentality.  Grab power, grab profit, grab pleasure.  I hope you will ponder on this and start doing it. 

I still remember my mother who was a Math teacher in FEU.  For her, math is not merely addition, subtraction, multiplication, division or equation.  She expanded her math lessons to wider dimensions, a more holistic meaning to the mathematical processes.  Subtracting pain through sharing, adding joy and hope through good deeds.  Multiplying talents with community work and dividing work load through volunteerism.  Sharing pain, having joy and hope, multiplying gifts, dividing the burden, this is engaging the heart of education leaders.  The sit of wisdom, the heart, compassion, most of all the start up motor of humanizing the person in society.  Education is an on-going process, a life-long project.  Even if in your case, education would be, educating in schools, within the confines of classrooms, within specific timelines, still there must be that consciousness that education is life-long and life-wide.  

What you teach and how you teach can detonate positive or negative heart bites.  TO TEACH IS TO SHOW SOMEONE HOW TO LIVE.  Teaching is not merely transmitting literal knowledge.  Teaching is making word and happening one.  So it is witnessing.  Pope Paul VI teachers teach best when they are witnesses.  Realize that engaging the heart is the dynamic force for motivation, experiences that becomes memories of the heart and lessons for a life-long and life-wide practice.

Mothering or parenting and teaching form a single vocation.  Both engage the heart to the hill in motivating their children and students to strive for excellence and to account for the hope that is in them.  Engaging the heart does not mean permissiveness.  It requires discipline.  A danger, parents are sometimes prone to probably due to the lack of time since both father and mother have to work.  Or the guilt provoked by this lack of time.  Neither does compassion mean, you can’t confuse it with pity.  If we spoon fed our daughters and sons of whatever age.  Your students of whatever level, there is a danger of turning them to become mental wimps, worst with hearts that crumble at the slightest stress or difficulty. 

Forms and substance but this has no reference to impeachment requirements.  Impeachment cases have become a dime a dozen now a days which is a sad commentary on public service.  Was it Jefferson?  I think its Jefferson who said, what we acquire too easily, we esteem too lightly. Going back to my sharing, this will focus on form and content.  The form, anecdotal narratives.  The content flushed out from the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines which is invoked by every congressional investigation in aid of legislation, a dime a dozen too now a days.  Since I am not a lawyer or an elected servant of the people, I just went as far as the preamble articles I to III, because I find them all the highlights I needed in these sections which can be crunched into three headings for purposes of motivation, motivating you as educators and public servants.  

The three motivators; maka-Diyos, makabayan, makatao.  Maka-Diyos when you read the constitution, that is the first part.  It invokes God, so it is recognition of the primacy of God.  And makabayan states the national territory that is our country, the Philippines which public servants and all of its citizens have to develop her patrimony and secure her posterity.  And then makatao particularly the poor, ang mga pinapahirapan, ang mga isinasaisantabi, mga kinakalimutan para sa panahon natin ngayon mga pinapatay.  Paulit-ulit, andun po sa Philippine Constitution ang karapatang pantao napakahalaga na ang karapatang pantao, hindi pinapahalagahan ng isang libo lamang.  Wala pong . . . ,  it cannot be buy you.  Do not be scared even if you are public officials to concern what is right and what is wrong.  I admire your secretary.  She vouched for the character of Kian De Los Santos.  That was brave.  I thought that was very brave.  What will make maka-Diyos, makabayan, makatao excellent motivators is love.  And love is not an emotion.  It is an action of the heart.  Love for God, love for country, love for people especially the poor.  This love must be proactive not passive.  Not just a passing emotion. Naku, kawawa naman.  Naku talagang mali ‘yan.  Magrarally tayo.  Pagkatapos, nakalimutan na.  It has to be a passion for it to be a life-long and life-wide. 

Passion is a produce of the heart.  A heart that has been loved.  A heart that has known what it is to be loved and what it is to love.  ‘Yong mga nakaranas, na├»ve, na mahal sila.  Na inibig sila.  Those who experienced how to be loved without looking at our warts, or moles, or defects, simply for ourselves, that is the best motivation, iyon ang nag-uudyok sa puso na magmahal din,  that dictates the heart to love too. 

I am a Catholic.  And I’m very proud to be one.  I believe in one God for whom nothing is impossible.  My God whom I believe who loves me and is always there for me, come hell or high water.  You have to believe in something or in someone.  Whatever your faith is or whatever god you worship, your faith, your god must be your all in all.  What is this that gives meaning to life?  To your vocation as educators.  God who is love is the absolute motivation for remaining faithful in being maka-Diyos, makabayan, makatao, in all things that we do and say. 

You know, Pope Francis is a very practical man.  He is very kin on encounter.  Iyong makipagtagpuan.  Because life is all about relationships. You relate with our children.  Children relate with their parents.  You relate with your students.  You relate with each other.  Life is relational.  We relate with people we encounter. Kaya best iyong person to person contact eh.  Kaya ako, hindi ako naniniwala nung bibigyan na lang ng assignment ang mga estudyante.  Darating na lang kapag may eksamin.  Sa college yata iyon, mas type nila yon.  At hindi na nakikita.  Wala iyong exchange, interaction, engaging the heart.  And we need to encounter God in especial moments of our lives.

I met my God early in life.  I know it was not through my effort for what grade three girl student for seriously know who Jesus is.  He must have been the one who drew me.  To wake up early every morning and walk to an early mass. 6:00 o’clock in the morning.  And then, so that we will not be late in school which starts the next day at 7:30.  Since then, Jesus and I have been friends.  And I can tell you.  There is no bff better than He is.  And I know, He will save me from whatever fall I find myself into from whatever foolishness I may do He will save me because He loves me.

When you know you are love unconditionally, faithfully walking with you in sunshine and in rain.  Then this gives meaning to your waking, sleeping, breathing, working living. 

Motivation starts with relationships, carried through relationships, which bear fruit in relationships.  They can be good or bad fruit depending on the relationships you established and encounters that you have.  I am a Filipino and I am very proud to be one. 

You saw that, The Devil Wears Prada?  Ang galing-galing ni Merill Strip.  The Devil Wears Prada, kase kapag nagkaron tayo ng mga ilusyon, to buy this, to buy that, to wear this to wear that.  Hay naku, umpisa na ang katapusan.  Madali po kaseng matisod, di po ba?  Kaya kailangang balik-balikan ang dalisay na hangarin sa paglilingkod.  Alalahanin n’yo po si Bonifacio.  Humayo kayo, humayo tayo at ibangon ang bayan sa kawalan ng puri dahil sa katiwalian. 

When somebody does something for you, no matter how small, or even if it’s their duty to do so, show some appreciation, some affirmation because some affirmation expands the heart.  And motivates it to go an extra hundred miles for the magi’s be abundance to life. One of the things I cannot forget, he told me because he made an order that I should repeat it to as many people as I can.  Pope John Paul II said, “God has blessed the Philippines, with two things that is not present anymore in other countries; the richness of your faith and the closeness of your families. 

Engaging the heart knows no distinction, no barriers, no differences.  The three motivators, Maka-Diyos, makabayan at makatao.  I hope you will always remember God who is kind and merciful.  Slow to anger and rich in forgiveness.  Even if your students are nakakagigil.  That you will remember that.  Na araw-araw hahayo kayo at ikalat na walang pag-ibig pa, na hihigit sa pagkadalisay at pagkadakila,  kundi ang pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa.

That when you encounter people especially the poor.  That you will teach them, rather show them, through your hugs and affirmation that there are no children of a lesser god.  And what better motivation for you than being true to what you are and what you do which is a privilege no amount of money can equal that privilege to form the minds and engage the hearts of the young Filipino, the new Filipino, the future’s authentic Filipino servant leader.  Education is on-going, life-long, life-wide.
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