Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What Book Has Influenced You?

This was among the five questions that I needed to answer as part of an exam in a company a week ago. And I answered without a doubt, 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help the Country. For those who haven't read this book yet, I know for sure you'll be intrigued by what this orange paperback contains. Well just to have a rundown, this book lists 12 things that are yes, simple but if performed really makes a difference. What are they? Here goes:

1. Follow traffic rules, follow the law.
2. Whenever you buy or pay for anything, always ask for an official receipt.
3. Don't buy smuggled goods. Buy local, buy Filipino.
4. When you talk to others especially foreigners, speak positively about us and our country.
5. Respect your traffic officer, policeman and soldier.
6. Do not litter. Dispose your garbage properly. Segregate. Recycle Conserve.
7. Support your church.
8. During elections, do your solemn duty.
9. Pay your employees well.
10.Pay your taxes.
11. Adopt a scholar or a poor child.
12. Be a good parent. Teach your kids to follow the law and love our country.

Back then, I was among those few people who found the title and the content intriguing. It was just tonight as I write this entry I realized that long before I took hold of the book, some of those mentioned things are carried on to practice thankfully in the household and in our family. It puts a smile on my face to think that even before this book came to print, Papa was and still is practicing point number two which I suppose were among the things I inherited from him.

It feels great that I am working in affiliation with a good company it was there I first learned environmental stewardship and discipline like the 5S System (I'm more familiar of the Japanese version of it: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, shitsuke). Talk about following point number six.

And because I am in a way employed, in my own way I earn and part of it goes to the taxes; so to put it, I am following point number 10. I even have the BIR printouts to prove that I am doing so.

Point number 5 was something I learned my own way. Yes, my parents taught me the value of respect but to be specific about policemen, soldiers, enforcers and security guards were things I took up on my own initiative. Because seeing these people do their job despite impending evils of the world that cost them more than just an arm or a leg, a simple word such as "Thank you" for any act of kindness already means a lot to them. (I won't toot my own horns here but I read in one magazine that in order to know a person's real personality, try observing him/her on how he/she treats waiters, enforcers and even security guards. How the person treats them will convey the "real" him or her.)

I wold admit that if not for reading this book, I would not be a registered voter. I was guilty per se of neglecting what is supposed to be a duty and this book served as a slapping call that influenced me to take initiative. It is actually saddening to realize that some people would browse and say the things stated in the book are too easy yet, they come ask them if they try performing any and you'll hear that don't do it at all.

Talk about disappointment. And last week during my visit to the university where I graduated, I brought the first copy that I bought to give to my professor (as I had another copy signed by the author which I decided to keep) and asked her if she could possibly include the book in discussions with her students. I suppose that was also among the ways I got influenced by the book and so I am doing another little thing:

To spread the word and ask others do their part too.

How about you? Has any book influenced you lately? Drop me a comment as I'd be glad to know.

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