Thursday, May 22, 2014
Excerpts From My School Mandated Reflections: Strut to Success
The Strut to Success event was held in Angelo King International Center (AKIC) and was organized by a group of students from an events management class (EVNTMGT). Before I share my thoughts on the event, I would like to make a point of clarification for transparency’s sake. I attended the 2nd among three sessions of the event, as they’ve declared, a student only needs to attend one of the three events to gain an attendance point in their report, moreover even if you attend all of the three sessions, you would still be only given one.
Anyway, I chose the 2nd session because its content was interesting. It was a seminar given by Ren Rigue (not his real name to protect his identity) and Benildean alumni, who was suppose to discuss small capital ventures. He apparently came bearing gifts, in particular, fruits of his labor. Upon entering I saw these beautiful and mouth watering cupcakes, which I later learned during his talk were hand made by her aunt. I got to taste it at the end of the session after he declared them “free and for everyone.”
Going back, as I was looking for my seat, I noticed how good looking he was, so naturally he was a delight to watch. Though I found his taglish overtly irritating, his message nevertheless, somehow sunk with me. What was his message? "Be entrepreneurial," "Pursue your passion," "Do what you believe is right," etc. Basically, what every book of the self-help genre tells you to do. As he spoke, I kept telling myself, stop thinking of the petite bourgeoisie’s characteristics. "Paul! Don’t be so hard on others!" was the chosen maxim in my head. Did I admire him? Yes, for being cunning, for him pursuing his passion, for his generosity of sharing his stories with us, but I also despised his endorsement of guanxi, and myopic endorsements of “our” ideal future. There were moments when I thought "What am I to learn from this clown?" "Why does he underestimate everybody?" "Why is he judgmental?" "Why does he think everybody is the same?" Then an epiphany hit me, how common psychological problems were among today's Filipino youth, thus bringing forth my shrink mode.
I began understanding where this privileged hard-working party-loving spoiled brat was coming from, he was seeking what Viktor Frankl studied throughout his existence, Logotherapy. He was searching for meaning, unfortunately in his attempt to do so, he had to bring everybody down to his pre-success pre-disciplined truant student days, for in his mind, this road to where he is right now involves going through this initial rough patches. I suddenly felt pity upon this Benildean happy hunky entrepreneur, by the end of his interactive seminar, I had learn from myself and from him already.
Soon, while I was eating his cupcake I resigned to the fact that I too can achieve anything I want, actually anybody can, one just needs to stop being afraid and one needs to believe in herself/himself. I also wished that one day he would forgive himself and remember that he is different now, so he can let go of the past now, instead of making that a constant point of comparison, he should graduate into choosing better standards. He owes that to himself. He loves to experiment with alcoholic drinks, he loves to “mix-em-up” and “discover nice drinks” I admired his innovative drive to improve the shortage of cocktails in the bar-tending industry.
An ordinary student would feel hope and optimism from this seminar. I am happy that he is happy (at least on the surface, but subconsciously no, like most people) and that he has achieved what he had achieved. He is definitely successful based on Filipino contemporary society’s definition of it.
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