Leaders should show good example

Published September 19, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD


Fr. Bel San Luis

One time I was talking with a barangay chairman. I asked him why he keeps on running for the top barangay position.

His reply was: “I want people to have a high regard for me and my family. I want people to recognize me.” I admired the man’s frank response but I felt that his motive was self-centered and not the primary objective of serving his constituents.

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Some people think of greatness in terms of titles and high positions, or outstanding achievements worthy of appreciation.

That’s fine if they are truly deserving. But you should not boast or brag about your accomplishment. Jesus Christ says, “He who humbles himself shall be exalted… He who exalts himself shall be humbled.”

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The “Titanic” was the biggest ship ever built during its time. The owners bragged it was so big and fitted with a double steel plate that not even God could sink it. But on its maiden voyage in the Atlantic Ocean from London to New York accompanied by much pomp and fanfare, the huge ship hit an iceberg which opened a gaping hole on its side that caused it to sink to its sea grave.

As the Proverb said: “Pride goes before the before the fall!” In the book of Sirach, the prophet exhorts, “Conduct your affairs with humility… The greater you are, the more humble you should be and you will find favor with God.”

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Aside from doing service with humility, what’s important is that people in authority like public servants, religious leaders, employers, parents, and teachers should lead by GOOD EXAMPLE. For instance, public servants should exemplify honesty, justice, and transparency. How can they expect their constituents to be honest, just, or obey the laws if they themselves are dishonest and law-breakers?

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Or, how can parents and teachers teach honesty and moral conduct to their children and students if they are prone to lying, unfaithful, and are engaged in drinking, gambling, and other vices?

As the saying goes, “I don’t hear what you are teaching because I cannot see it in your action.”

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There are parents who are really charitable and exemplary. Let me quote an inspiring email letter which I received from a couple. It was in response to my appeal for help in my Manila Bulletin column for some poor COVID patients. The couple responded, saying: “My husband and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary last July.

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“In these hard times, we decided not to celebrate it lavishly. We went to church and asked a priest to bless us. We decided that we will just give the money we would be spending to the needy.

“We are also in a crisis right now. But we know there are a lot more of our fellowmen who are hard up and in need of help.” They added: “I hope that our children will follow the good examples we have done.”

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Today’s laugh. A Japanese tourist was riding around Manila on a taxi. He said: “This is Toyota… Made in Japan. Very fast.” Seeing a car pass by, he remarked: “Ah, that’s Mitsubishi… Made in Japan. Very fast.” Oh, another car, Suzuki, passing. Made in Japan. Very fast.”

On reaching his destination, the Japanese was flabbergasted to see the fare amounting ₱3,000. “Why fare so high!” the passenger blurted.

The driver tapped the meter and said, “Taxi meter, made in Japan. Very fast!”

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St. Philip Neri once said: “Human pride is the hardest to die. It dies 10 minutes after one is dead.”

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A man wrote a letter to the BIR: “I have been unable to sleep knowing that I cheated on my taxes. I have enclosed a cheque for ₱10,000. If I still can’t sleep, I’ll pay the rest.”

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Appeal for COVID patients. Let me thank those who responded to my appeal for financial assistance for poor COVID patients. I am appealing further since our funds are depleting. Any amount will be highly appreciated.

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The Lord said, “Whatever you did to the least of My brethren, you did it for Me” (Mt. 25:40). For inquiry, email me at: [email protected] or call 09175501886.