Monday, April 11, 2011

Thomasian Nurses: The Best or the Beast?

Column Name: Just Thoughts
Title: Thomasian Nurses: The Best or the Beast?
By: Mervyn C. Tan
“Congratulations for making it in the UST College of Nursing! Being accepted here would only mean you are the crème de la crème among thousands of people who aspired to enter this college!”
Or so we think.
This is not to spite our beloved Alma Mater, which has been nothing less of excellent in terms of performance and dedication. Instead, this is another perspective and perhaps a new challenge for the citizens of our college.
In this world where everyone seems to be the best in everything, or at least they perceive themselves to be, nothing you do ever seems good enough for anyone. It’s like anything and everything around you is insufficient and is coupled with a complaint or a criticism. What’s worse is that the voices of the aforementioned won’t settle for anything less than a ruckus.
Perhaps, it’s a normal course of nature, especially when a best from one end meets a best from another end—to slug it out in a face-off that could be chronic since no one would want to give in.
As we all know it, superlatives like the “best” should only be owned by a single entity—be it an individual or a group. If everyone would want to be the best, and won’t settle for being one of the best, competition persists and crab mentality may exist, eradicating the existence of a “common unity”. Instead, what would most likely exist is an unending battle of critical points, as one would only view things in his or her own spectacle and would be quick to spot the faults and loopholes committed by the other.
This prevents people from moving forward as they are fixated on being the best. Moreover, this would make them sustain their inability to accept and to be happy for another’s success.
This is the unfortunate predicament that besets most of the chronic, persistent, and cut-throat achievers in the world, who have received much praise and yet they still hunger for more. It continuously fosters one’s mentality of having to compete with another than to just compete with oneself, which simply aggravates the situation. It promotes one’s faulty mindset of infallibility, preventing someone to have the humility to accept his own flaws and defeat—which is just one marker of immaturity.
Rounding it up, it seems that pride is the number one enemy of much achievers. And if we would try to picture what would most likely be the conclusion of their stories, one might even confidently say that it would eventually lead to their great decline—all for the title of being the best.
But what do we mean by the best? Does it only focus on an individual’s intellect, skills and mastery? Or should we also consider one’s attitude?
Moreover, can the best turn into a beast who steps on others to get ahead?
As they say, the things we have to consider are knowledge, skills, and most especially, attitude. The best and the beast have a marked difference and it is vital for us to know it by heart.
The best possesses a quiet confidence, without a desire for self-proclamation. He or she is eventually recognized and appreciated by the ones around him or her. Moreover, his or her confidence is accompanied by proper behavior and right virtues, and not by a mere thirst for recognition.
Unlike the best, the beast finds a need for boastful declaration, hungers and searches for power, and abuses his or her control over others. If in case people follow him or her, it’s because of fear or force and not of reverence or respect.
The best would not choose to destructively pass on judgment. Advertently, his or her comments would be constructive in nature. Moreover, the best would make sure that fellow colleagues would be treated well and are given the ample opportunity to make things better.
Yet for a beast, it would be very easy to spot-the-not rather than to praise-the-grace. It’s comparable to an exploratory laparotomy, where a patient is placed under the knife, cut open, examined, diagnosed and then, left open and untreated...rendering him helpless and practically unable to recover. The beast has a keen sense in detecting the flaws of others and shooting disparagements where it is uncalled for. He or she would also be fast on sending low blows to give insult to injury and dampen one’s level of resilience.
The best would help his/her fellow back on his/her feet, while the beast would see someone lying on the ground and still kick them to the curb. Amidst crisis, the best would present solutions, while the beast would only bring damnation.
For the best, success is measured, not only through the recognitions he or she is given, but also through the friends and experiences he or she has gained. With such amiable personality, the best has people expressing support toward him or her, and he or she will never celebrate his or her success alone. Not to mention, he or she would also help others taste the kind of success that he or she has attained.
For the beast, success lies solely on fame and fortune. Unlike the best, the beast tells another story—preferring solitude in the limelight and celebration above everyone else.
As the University is celebrating its quadricentennial year and our college, its 65th anniversary, we, Thomasian nurses, continuously strive to be known as the best in our field, pressuring ourselves to be our best and to do our best. However, being reminded that we are the best, the standard and the cream-of-the-crop instills in us a kind of pride that we may not have actually earned – not yet. Not to mention, numerous students in our institution have a background of being achievers in their previous years. It can be said that it is difficult for a known achiever to shy away from having the need to achieve and prove that he or she is the best.
Thus, the sporadic occurrence of crab mentality in our surroundings takes place leaving no opportunities for other willing individuals to serve the college – a depressing sight as we see Thomasian nurses pit against fellow Thomasian nurses.  
This hinders us, our college, from the progress that it deserves. It impedes everyone from having a capacity to grow and from having a peaceful work environment.
 And at the end of all these, we realize: it would all depend on us.
Now, I ask you: what would you be, the best or the beast?

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