Sunday Lifestyle

Hump Day

MANO-A-MANO - Adel Tamano -

Thursday is my “Hump Day.” No, Mr. Pervert, that doesn’t refer to anything sexual; instead it is a reference to my busiest ­— and most tiring — day of the workweek. My wife adopted the phrase since both of us are hardworking folks facing difficulties and challenges connected with being people who work to earn a living.

Fortunately, neither my wife Weena or I were born with silver spoons in our mouths. Both our fathers were government officials — both reaching high posts in the Senate and Supreme Court respectively — both of whom, I’m very proud to say, never stole from government or abused their power. Hence, we inherited good family names, excellent education and ethical standards that we continue to strive for. But certainly not “riches” in the way the world views the term. Personally, I view the good family name, education and ethical examples as true riches but looking at Philippine society, this is most definitely a minority view. Often, or even most of the time, people judge others on the basis of money, position, or power and certainly not on unquantifiable — or at the very least difficult to quantify — qualities such as character or education.

However, I do use the term “fortunately” when I refer to not being born into wealthy families deliberately because I believe that work is not only a necessary part of life but that when it is done well and with the proper intention, then work becomes not merely an indispensable part of our existence but is also life-enhancing and character-building. Yes, I’m one of those weirdos that actually like to work and I believe that men and women were not created purely for leisure. Put another way, Juan Tamad is the antithesis of what I believe a moral person should be.

Yet despite my appetite for work, Thursdays are nonetheless difficult for me. Here’s a sample of my Thursday schedule: by 8:30 a.m., I’m at my law office for case conferences with my associates and legal staff. The morning is spent reviewing pleadings to be filed and preparing for hearings for next week. Also, time is spent writing my article for this column. Usually I’ve spent the past week drafting or, at times, researching for my column but Thursday is my deadline, although admittedly I have a very kind editor who gives me some leeway on this. In the morning, I also have to review the script for my ANC show, Tamano Perspective. Then, before 11 a.m., I’m fetched to go to the Senate for the final day of the week for impeachment coverage. While in the car, I’m doing legal research and reviewing my notes on what transpired at the impeachment proceedings during the week. My Senate coverage is from 12 noon to 6 or even 7 p.m. Then I have a live broadcast of Tamano Perspective from 7 to 7:30 p.m. And, truth be told, the Senate coverage of the Corona trial is by no means easy. I feel very privileged that ANC has allowed me to be part of the coverage so, in return — and also because I do take seriously my responsibility to the public to clarify and simplify the various legal, policy and ethical issues involved in the proceedings — during the trial, I’m continuously taking notes, doing legal research, reviewing my notes, and anticipating legal issues that will be raised. After I’m done, I get home about 9 p.m.

I’m usually bone-tired by the time I get home but because I take a positive view of work, it is a satisfied or contented kind of tiredness. Once home, and upon seeing my wife — who works just as hard as me — and seeing our kids Mike and Santi, I am fully content knowing that all my efforts and work will ultimately benefit my family. And when you sleep knowing that you’ve done a good day’s work, it is, usually, a very restful sleep.

I know we all have our Hump Days. And perhaps yours is even more difficult and challenging then mine. But, very simply, I want to encourage you by saying that when you work hard for yourself and your family, you make yourself a better person and a more complete human being. The reason we are given work — at least this is my belief as a Muslim — and the reason why work is a necessary aspect of the human condition for the vast majority of people is because work plainly is good for us. In fact, in Islam there is a directive to do our work with excellence and my own belief is that excellence, therefore, should be or must be a necessary part of our human nature. As corny or self-righteous or even arrogant as it may sound, one of my most fundamental beliefs is that human beings were created to excel and to be excellent. This is why we are blessed with work, which gives us all the opportunity to excel. What a wonderful idea that all of us, no matter what our present station in life, has the chance to become excellent.

So basically, I want to encourage you, as I encourage myself, to get over your Hump Day. Instead of detesting work, embrace it and be thankful for it. Now certainly if your work makes you unhappy or is not a proper fit with your abilities and aspirations, then by all means do not embrace it and instead reject it and find the right job or profession. But if you have a good job — and knowing that there is no such thing as a perfect job or a perfect business — that feeds your family, then do your job not only well but also with a spirit of excellence. Do that, and with the proper positive mindset, then there will be no insurmountable Hump Day.











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