By Roy M. Reyes, ADAS III, Division Office

We are all expected to add value to and through our work. A farmer reaps palay he plants. A
rice miller adds value to the palay he mills. A rice trader does his bit, and is duly compensated, for
collecting the milled rice and distributing it to retailers, who sell rice to individual consumers.
How well each one does his work influences the efficiency of the entire chain of
interdependent tasks. Speed, quality, and reasonable cost make the chain function smoothly and
competitively. A lethargic pace, shoddy work, and exorbitant cost at any point in the process make for
inefficiency and poor competitiveness.
Each of us can make the difference for greater and lesser efficiency. We can smooth out the
process or clog it up. We have responsibilities not only to ourselves, but also to the entire system of
which we are a part.
In our time, the complex systems imposed by modern technology and the very close
interdependence engendered by modern communications make the responsibility of each individual
much greater and reach much farther. What we do and how well we do our work influences the work
and the lives of many other people. Wired into a more complex and more tightly interdependent
network, we each have the potential to do much good or inflict much harm.
We have to seize this potential by constantly upgrading our ability to contribute positively,
through the systems within which we work. Our studies should never end. Our education should
continue. Our interest to learn should remain open. Whatever our age, our mind should always be
sharpened by continuous use in the diligent pursuit of new knowledge.
We also have to develop the ability to work well with others. This requires humility, because
our willingness to link arms with others and cooperate closely with them stems from the acute
realization that left to ourselves we can go only so far. If we are smart enough to complement our
limited talents with the combined talents of many others, then we can travel a longer distance and scale
greater peaks of accomplishment.
Conscious of being an integral part of a network that enhances our own effectiveness, we
should cultivate the ability to see the entire forest. We cannot narrow our gaze to the work immediately
around us. We cannot occupy ourselves with the pressing demands that surround us. We should
occasionally train our sights beyond our narrow and specialized tasks. We should develop an
appreciation of how they are interrelated with other tasks just as critical to the entire system. Then we
should ask ourselves: in what ways can I contribute to the smoother functioning of the system, and in
what ways can its components be improved so that the entire network operates even more effectively?
If we each take responsibility for the wider system, then we can accomplish more and attain
higher goals. Effectively, we stand on the shoulders of many others, a human pyramid that can reach
even for the stars.

The challenge is to strengthen that human pyramid at the base and at every level, all the way
to the top. This challenge is to thrown before us. If provide we take it with a deep sense of responsibility
and teamwork, we make our mechanisms work, our networks provide support, our systems to function,
and our organizations help every individual and serve society’s common good.
No one should ever work in isolation. No one can ever think he has no need of others. All our
personal efforts must be complemented by the combined strength of the group. This way the many
talents and services an association can put together widen our reach and deepen our impact.