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Opinion

With great responsibility comes great power

READER’S VIEWS - The Freeman

The title is not a typographical error. Yes, we all grew up with the famous Spiderman quote, “With great power comes great responsibility,” which Uncle Ben said to Peter after the latter got into a fight. But I read it somewhere and it is more profound: “With great responsibility comes great power.”

You see, we are all living in a generation now where we have developed the habit of complaining about everything and being consistently vocal about our rights and freedom—that we should have received this or we should have been given that. The culture we have today is that instead of taking up the responsibilities and owning them, we are too quick to blame others, point out the system, call out the government or question the company. But let me ask you, what have you done?

Someone shared to me the other day about the historic words John F Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” We are too infatuated about the idea of expecting someone to step into the picture and do the job for us, that someone will take care for us or even carry our own burdens for us. In John Maxwell’s book—Talent is never enough—he shared the story of what happened during the 1994 baseball players’ strike, where a lot of trading card manufacturers were in a tight spot. The Pinnacle Brands was the only company who’s determined not to lay off its employees. What the management did was it placed the responsibility to their employees to find ways to make up for the lost revenue. CEO Jerry Meyer said, “I’m not going to save your jobs. You’re going to save your jobs. You know what you can change and what you can do differently.” With this, the custodian cut off the expenses spent on sodas for conference rooms, the finance worker found a way to streamline trademark searches that saved the company a large sum of money and the PR manager closed a million dollar deal. As a result, only Pinnacle was the one that didn’t lay off its employees.

With the tourism industry badly hit and hotels still struggling in low occupancy due to the pandemic, with the support of our management, my team and I started doing takeaways for our pastries June of last year and we are still doing it up until now. We have rebranded our patisserie into a bakeshop, we have started trends and we have been consistently brainstorming for fresh ideas or items to sell. Instead of waiting for the situation to progress, we took the initiative. Others may have done it to stay afloat but in our case it’s different—viewing takeout as a new opportunity and building an additional profit center soon.

So, the next time you complain, ask yourself, “What have I done?”

Gerard Apurado

Pastry Chef/Blogger at LifeBeyondWhisks

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