The favorite

CTALK By Cito Beltran

Everyone likes the idea of being the favorite.

At home, in school, at work and in just about any situation, people generally wish they were the favorite because it connotes “favor” and fame and privilege. There is of course the other school of thought, the one I believe in; that favoritism is a dangerous if not wicked thing to practice or have in your life. The perfect biblical example would be none other than Joseph the Dreamer who paid dearly for being his father’s favorite. Not only did his brothers gang up on him, he was almost murdered by them, thrown into a pit and then sold off as a slave!

Yesterday, I came across a different version of “favoritism,” a version that most people run away from or actually hate. It is where you are the favorite person that always gets picked for an assignment or anything and everything that has to be done at work, in school or at home. If anything has to be done, you certainly enjoy name recall because your name has become synonymous to Goffer (Go for this – Go for that). Your last line syndrome is: “Do This!”

Oftentimes it happens to you because you are the oldest, the Kuya or the Ate or because you are the only one in the clan who believes in the concept of obedience. Sometimes you have the bad luck or bad timing of always being around when another Imperial order drops from the sky.

If you’re a parent, stop it! You may not realize it but in a family where there are several children, having a go to child or “favorite slave” is totally unfair to the favorite Goffer as much as it is unfair to the younger, less trusted or less competent children. First of all the favorite worker child is unfairly burdened with the tasks, your expectations as well as your disappointments or frustrations. You start by giving them little errands but eventually end up DUMPING on them all the time and treating them worse than employees just because they are YOUR children. Sucks to be them! Just remember the hugot line: “Ako, Ako, Ako! Lagi na lang Ako!”

No, it is not good training for business or maturity if they are treated like the favorite utusan or laborer and they eventually end up feeling like helpers and losing their dignity and self-respect. In really bad cases, some kids even end up questioning if they are really part of the family by birth or a result of an unwanted pregnancy? If you have doubts, I dare you to set up CCTVs where you interact with them and discover how you treat them, speak to them and disrespect them. I see this situation so many times and people who do this in front of me usually discover how I feel about the whole thing.

If, as an outsider, this sort of practice upsets many of us, imagine how it affects the other members of the family or even at work who never get called to do important stuff or do some of the work being dumped on the favorite Goffer. They often feel left out, not trusted, and become incompetent from lack of training and experience. That self doubt from the inside ultimately comes out in the form of resentment and various forms of violence toward the Kuya, Ate or favorite Goffer. So much hate can spew from such situations and it is equally paralyzing to all. The “lesser children” gang up or abandon “the favorite” or end up assuming that the favorite Goffer can and will do all the work, so they simply step back like customers at a diner waiting for the waitress to bring out their food or their treats!

As parents, leaders or bosses, you have to spread out the work or responsibility as well as accountability. Give everybody a chance or a shot at the project or the work to be done. If you must have “favorites” then create teams where siblings and workers are forced or can work together, compliment each other, as well as win or lose together. Just keep in mind the lesson from the Book of Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” It’s never too late to do that and most importantly to make sure everybody is your favorite!

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When I first met the Sytin brothers they were earning a living selling surplus engines in a small yard off the NLEX. From there they decided to import used engines directly from Japan instead of buying from other importers in the Philippines. It didn’t take long for them to eventually become locators in Subic where they have become one of or the largest auctioneer in the country. That should have been enough for others, but the brothers knew that they would have to go from surplus to brand new, from joining auctions in Japan to having their own assembly plant. Today the Sytin family is the official distributor of Foton Trucks and SUVs and even have their own assembly plant in Clark, Pampanga.

Yesterday, president of Foton-Philippines, Rommel Sytin launched their vehicle improvement program showcasing the Foton Blue Energy Euro-4 Cummins engines stating that “Green is Out – Blue is in.” No, it is not an Ateneo chant against the La Salle Green Archers, it is merely a reference to the previous years where everyone was marketing “Green” as pro-environment. Now it’s all about a higher European standard of emissions that has been adopted by Singapore and Vietnam and now the Philippines which is third in implementing the Euro 4 standards. They also launched their Tornado M4 light duty truck  featuring the Euro 4 Cummins engine and added an unlimited three-year warranty.

Congratulations to the Sytin brothers who’ve gone from “recycling” to promoting “new and improved!”

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