In this age of social media, where we have access to platforms that allow us to share our own content, we are becoming more aware of what has been happening to other people, regardless of where they may be. Though there are inherent dangers to this new level of connectedness, it also allows more and more conversations to happen, albeit in the digital space. It can cause envy, yes, but it can also spark hope. As we share our lives and engage in conversations that transcend distance, it now becomes more apparent to us that we are not alone in our daily struggles; that our sufferings are not unique to us; that there are others out there who may have something worse than whatever it is we are going through.
At this very moment, you could be seething with anger at your people, because you felt betrayed and were left hanging in a very important undertaking. You could be pissed off with your boss, because you do not feel appreciated. You might have lost faith in your organization, because they seem to promote incapable and undeserving colleagues. Add to that whatever you are dealing with outside of your work, and you now become combustible, ready to explode anytime. Whatever it is making your burdens heavier, allow me to share this with you.
There is no inconsequential growth when one endures through suffering. Growth happens when we are uncomfortable. Growth happens when we endure. It happens when we persevere. In developing one’s muscles, one must go through aches and pains. There are no shortcuts.
Inventions are borne out of inconveniences. Faith blossoms in times of trial and pain. As my daughter always reminds me, “You win some, you learn some.” In every painful endeavor, there is growth to be had. We just have to be mindful of it.
Wherever you are right now, bloom. Do not be content at being a bystander, while others are busy growing. Remember, all of us, in different degrees, are facing our daily struggles. Do not sulk in the corner and whine about your struggles, while others are dealing with theirs head on. I am not saying we should “shut up and work.” There is a time for everything. If you need to talk or air it out, by all means. However, there is also a time to be productive and find solutions to your problems.
Take in every experience. Do not brush aside the struggles, the pain, and the suffering. Allow yourself to process what you have been experiencing. By taking it all in, you are allowing yourself to gain a better understanding of the situation and how you can best learn from it.
At the same time, give your all. Do not shortchange your effort just because you are disappointed with the people you are working with or because your organization is not living up to your expectations. Ours is not a small world and it is becoming smaller with every advancement in technology. Thus, always give your best and exercise civility and decency at all times. Never burn your bridges. You never know when you might need to traverse them again.
Idealism is good. It provides high standards to aim for. A word of caution, though. May it not cause us greater despair, if it eventually becomes unmet. Let us all aim for equality and fairness, but let us not become too attached to our ideals that we become cynical at the end.
Surely, this world will tear your idealism into pieces. The more accepting we are of the fact that the world is not, and will never be, truly fair, the easier it will be for us to endure. Wherever you are, do you think you got to that point fairly, that everything that contributed to your status now is based purely on your own merits? Most likely not.
We are designed to work. I truly believe that God created us to work to contribute to human flourishing. Whether as an employee, an entrepreneur or a stay-at-home parent, we have our roles to play. Our work, however, is one of the major sources of our daily struggles. It is inescapable. Even if we resign from our current jobs, we will still face similar or different struggle in new environment. We will still deal with people, a different group perhaps, but a group that will also cause our struggles.
Having said all of these, it does not meant we have an illegitimate gripe. For most of it, I am certain it is real, at least for the person feeling it.
It does, however, put everything in a new perspective. A perspective wherein we have come to accept that, in our life—especially in our work—we will be disappointed. Maybe not all the time, but we will. We will be frustrated, hurt, and humbled. So is the next person. So is your friend in another continent. So is your child in grade school. So is your boss. It is then up to us to find ways to be more understanding and patient amid all of these. At the same time, never cease to demand excellence. A difficult balance, perhaps. But what is life if lived without any tension? Demand excellence but exercise a lot of patience and understanding.
In this age of social media where we have access to platforms that allow us to share our own content, let us become that person ready to have a conversation with people who need it, regardless of where they may be. That’s because you might be the messenger of hope during a time when they badly needed some.
Anton Ng is a Partner of the Audit & Assurance Division of P&A Grant Thornton. P&A Grant Thornton is one of the leading Audit, Tax, Advisory, and Outsourcing firms in the Philippines, with 21 Partners and over 900 staff members. We’d like to hear from you! Tweet us at: @PAGrantThornton, like us on Facebook: P&A Grant Thornton, and email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. For more information, visit our Website: www.grantthornton.com.ph.
As publsihed in The Manila Times, dated 27 March 2019