People Agenda in RCBaguio

So far, the best question asked of me regarding this website, was (by Dir. Gigi): “what can we write about?” My prompt response was–“anything about Rotary and items that our site visitors may like.” I added: “not necessarily items which are directly about Rotary but even on materials which can be used by our members.”

With the above as my explanation, my hope is to start our Rotarians and site visitors into re-thinking their “People Agenda.” Specifically how we fare on the matter of our human relations with our friends and co-members in RCBaguio. Something which we should constantly reconcile with; but something which many take for granted, and certainly–something many do not or cannot understand. Or more critically–something which some refuse to understand.

During my earlier days in RCBaguio, I had personal issues with some of our co-members. Let me tell you about some of them… I did not like this guy because he was insincere: committed to doing something but never actually delivered. I did not like this fellow because he did not like me (or so it seemed)–but how could he not like me! I did not like what she said about the Retrospect I wrote for our club bulletin. I don’t like that he constantly monopolizes Members’ Time during our Saturday meetings. Who does he think he is?… he acts as if he owns our Rotary club! My list of pet-peeves went on and on, and on.

After being with this club for over a decade, allow me to share my personal insights (and my coping strategy).

Such issues are what plague new Rotarians as they begin to mix with people from a very wide age bracket than they usually find themselves in. Our club membership has senior members who can be twenty or thirty years older than others; indeed old enough to be one’s father or mother. Sometimes, it is the age difference that is difficult to reconcile with; and many are unable to cope with it.

But more often it is actually (and most importantly) reconciling with individual differences. The most common mistake is when we want everyone to think like us, and never to disagree with us. There is also each person’s level of tolerance when it comes to “the games people play.” The little that I know about Transactional Analysis comes to mind. I remember my friends from the seventies: Tito Mina (yes, the singer was a good friend of mine) and Mel Tagudar who were both counselors at Shalom House. No, I was not an “inmate” but just a friend who enjoyed constantly visiting their place (at Legarda Road then) because their dictum was: “I’m OK, you’re OK!” Maybe something which we could suggest as a thinking point among our new members.

Allow me to go on record that my early years as a Rotarian were equally tumultuous as those of many… In my book, the real “baptism of fire” in Rotary happens when you realize that you need to cope with the People Agenda. If you breeze through it, good for you. If you have problems with it, learn to manage and work on it. You will only last in the club if you can endure and properly cope. The best part of it is that you will be rewarded with real friends in the club as your “assimilation” is affirmed.

My suggested frame of mind is to continually think that no one is inherently bad… Some turn out bad (in our eyes) because they have a different way of expressing themselves. Respect the opinion of others–no matter how absurd they are (as far as you are concerned). It always helps if you do not verbalize your negative views about others because “walls have ears.” Being prim and proper is a virtue worth working at.

I have seen people come in and leave RCBaguio. Sometimes, it is because of personal differences; if they are unable to cope due to personal clashes which they cannot resolve. Sometimes it is unfortunate that members go, though sometimes it is probably for the best that they do. In the final analysis, if you find yourself unhappy in RCBaguio, then do what you must do. The main thing is that you gave it your best try. But then again, if you have antagonized many a member because of your own indiscretions or unwillingness to be appropriate, it will probably be best that you leave. There is utterly no sense on insisting to be part of a club where most of its members no longer respect you.

But who am I to write about this topic anyway? My profession as an architect leaves my insights as suspect in the realm of psychoanalysis. Why exhibit such temerity in writing about this touchy subject matter? My response?… All I want is for members in RCBaguio to reconcile that we are all individuals in the club. And as such, that we never forget to respect other people’s views on certain things. And yes… to be non-confrontational (look who’s talking!)… as much as possible (“,).


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