This article is a tribute more or less to one of Vladimir Santos’ latest articles and is just another look at another overused alleged value called “hard work” the same way I deconstructed the Pinoy concept of “humility“…
So let’s start with a story, shall we?
Once upon a time there was a farmer with a son who seemed to be lazy. The farmer’s son would sit at home and seemed to all but rarely come out of his father’s hut all day long while his father tilled the fields with his carabao.
Another farmer, a friend perhaps of the boy’s father would sometimes look into the house and see the young boy diddling with what appeared to be a small motor. The farmer’s friend even shouted at the boy, calling him a slacker and that people like him are the reason why farmers are so poor.
But then one day, the boy came out with a powerful tractor which he quickly put to use and impressed his father by showing to his father that he could till the fields faster with such an impressive machine. The father was overjoyed by this development as the tractor could reduce a hard day’s work just to a few hours.
Later, both the boy and his father discussed selling the idea of the tractor to other farmers so that they could make their own and so that they could all make progress together. The farmer and his son became well-to-do people in their community, thanks to the son’s focus on not just working hard but working smart.
The moral of the story is quite simple my friends, real “hard work” isn’t just about being industrious physically, it is also about being mentally industrious as well. The problem again arises with the typical Pinoy idea of what “hard work” is supposed to be. Most of us simply latch on to what is superficial or obvious and forget that hard work applies to both the body and the mind.
That’s why, if any of you bother to notice at all, a lot of politicians hoping to hoodwink the populace into voting for them often go to various farming communities and pretend to be working with them. Yep, you’ll see them eating with their hands and tilling the fields with the farmers while the camera is on them. What flies way over people’s heads is that these people are only doing this for the sake of PR and nothing more. Besides, a politicians job is not about doing manual labor but actually finding ways to improve manual labor so that their constituents can be more efficient without working so hard.
Tying in with the anti-intellectual aspects of Pinoy society, typical Pinoys do not see thinking as a form of work in its own right. These people fail to realize that sitting down and thinking is one of the things that has allowed for new and impressive designs for buildings to be made, how ideas for even more marvelous machines are created and how astounding works of art are put into being.
Until Filipinos can really understand the importance of thinking something over and see it as just another way of “working hard”, then I doubt we’ll see any real improvement in our society anytime soon…
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