Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Measure of a Man"

"I am who I am, and whenever I am treated in a way that I feel is contrary to how I hold myself, I will defend myself by improving myself," he says. "The more I improve myself, the more of a man I become, the more of a humane person I become."

This was what Sidney Poitier told millions of audience who watched Oprah Winfrey Show one day. It was "The Dinner of a Lifetime with Sidney Poitier"..."It was an event months in the making—the dinner of a lifetime for one of Oprah's heroes, Sidney Poitier.

Enthralled with Sidney from the time she was 10 years old and saw him win the Academy Award® on her black-and-white television, Oprah set out to create a magical evening with Sidney and seven lucky readers of her book club selection The Measure of a Man."

After watching that episode, I could not stop thinking about what Sidney Poitier said during that dinner interview. I rushed to find his book in National Bookstore. Since I could not find one, I decided to search Oprah's website hoping to find excerpt of that interview.

Luck was on my side. I found the entire interview, the conversation among guests. It was transcribed and posted on Oprah's website. And so I now have the exact quote that I was looking for.

As we reached adolescence, we start to search for our very own identity. Unfortunately, many of us end up hooked in drugs or become alcoholic for the very simple reason of failing to answer the question, "Who am I?".

This has got to do with how people around us help create for us our sense of who we are. This has got to do with how people criticize or praise us. As a social being we want to belong. When we live a life of too much praise or abundant criticism, we begin to lose our personal identity. We no longer could not answer the very important question, "Who am I?".

I know who I am. I know my strength and my weaknesses. Everyday I am bombarded with contradicting statements about who I am from people I meet and from persons close to me. Like Sidney Poitier, I have learned to fully understand who I am. If I am told that what I think about me is not what others think of me then I step back, remind myself of my identity and work hard to strengthen my being.

I strive to become who I always want to become while conscious of the fact that I am only human born to do what's right but bound to commit mistakes.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Land Bank Robs Customer of Self Worth

One day, I accompanied my Mom and Dad to a Land Bank branch in Cebu City. As usual, line in this government bank is long. What with slow poke tellers. So having to wait a long time for your turn in this bank is not abnormal.

My dad who is almost a septuagenarian needed to go to the rest room. To his horror the security guard led him out of the bank since he is not welcome to use the rest room inside.

So my dad had to go out and look for a comfort room to answer the call of nature. He had to pay 20 bucks to avail of the service from an establishment just near the bank.

As my dad went out of Land Bank, another old fellow approached the security guard of the bank to ask where the men's room was. To my shock the security guard led the man outside of the bank where there teller machine used to stand. He was told that's where he can relieve himself.

Angry at how my dad was treated, rather humiliated, my mom approached the bank manager to report the way my dad's self worth was broken into pieces. The bank manager profusely apologized but her slip showed when she explained that the use of there bathroom is on a case to case basis because of security reasons. She went on to explain that the location of there comfort room is very near the bank's vault. In sum it's a security risk.

Clearly, the security guard was just doing his job. He was just following orders. Clearly, the error is not of the lowly paid guard but how this bank treats there customer. Imagine, placing a rest room very near the bank's safe. Its not hard to imagine that such layout is indeed a security risk.

But, the executives of this bank should have thought that while the location of there comfort room is a security risk, they are robbing there customer blind by having to shoo them out of there branch when nature calls.

I hope that after you read this you will pass on this blog until it reaches the president of Land Bank. They cannot just continue to rob there customer of there self worth.