Originally on 5 Things I Learned – March 17, 2011
Tonight, the choral group I belong to, the Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club performed for officers and staff of the Energy Development Corporation at the invitation of one of our patrons Mr. Ricky and his wife, Vicky Tantoco. After the performance, Mr. Ricky Tantoco was gracious enough to chat with us. It was an evening of music, wine and wisdom. I picked up so many lessons tonight, but I’d like to share three in particular.
When Sir Ricky was in his mid-twenties, he found himself at a crossroads. He had been working for a multinational for sometime and had risen up the ranks and stationed abroad and was earning quite well. He was thinking of taking his MBA abroad. The company offered everything to get him to stay. Confused, he spoke with his uncle Cesar Buenaventura former CEO of Shell Philippines LLC in the 70s-80s. The first three things I learned from Sir Ricky, were actually pieces of wisdom his uncle Cesar shared with him.
1) Always choose skill over well everything else.
I would phrase it as… Go with where you can learn and grow. Choose skill and learning over pay, position, company friends, etc.
Note: Sir Ricky decided to leave the multinational and study.
2) Don’t compromise your integrity.
Simple and straight to the point, without integrity there is no sustainability.
3) The money will come when you’re in your forties.
Build a solid foundation from which to build your life and make each brick count. Reinforce areas that are weak and when the time comes you’ll find yourself with a structure people will pay for to see, to enter, to appreciate, to enjoy, to engage, to use, to exist in.
Sir Ricky also shared with us a conversation he had with Fr. Adolfo Dacanay, SJ the chair of the Theology department of the Ateneo de Manila University. Fr. Dax is a professor of theology and his courses focus on love and marriage. He is also a Canon Lawyer and as such has handled thousands of annulment cases in the Philippines. Sir Ricky asked Fr. Dax what based on his reasons are the 3 Most Important Reasons why Marriages are annulled. Sir Ricky, shared two with us… he forgot the third (but promised to check his notes and share the last one with us on our next Christmas Caroling with their family.)
4) One of the two partners are fundamentally broken.
I’ve done a piece about brokenness before, and I agree completely. The most broken people have experienced childhood trauma, violence or abuse that they never recover from. Sometimes they have cast a veneer of normalcy, so that you would never suspect how hollow their sense of self is. Initially, pointers are not definitive things like possessiveness and temperamentalness – things that would seem more like personality defects. But for broken people, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Their brokenness comes out by way of increasing frequency and degree of physical and especially psychological abuse.
5) The great divide and the Messianic Complex.
There is a great challenge when bridging divides between two people the most common is socio-economic disparity, educational disparity and religious disparity. You have one partner who feels ‘superior’ or ‘more blessed’ and thus feels that he or she can ‘improve’ the life of the other. Eventually the messiah feels frustrated that the other doesn’t want to change, and the one who doesn’t want to change feels pressured to change even if he or she doesn’t want to.
It was truly a night that reaffirmed the importance of connections and conversations…all that’s missing is convergence.