It’s the Traffic

July 22, 2009

It’s a rare opportunity for my wife and I to take a casual and leisurely walk along the mall. What is normal for us is to rush from one place to another doing all those talks and giving all those seminars.

And so after our workout in the gym, The Ilocana and I took our sweet time, strolled inside a shopping mall; afterwards got inside my car and drove to a gas station and that’s when my cell phone rang. It was my all time faithful and reliable associate Rara sounding-agitated-trying-to-keep-her-nerve-tone-of-voice as she practically screamed, “Sir where are you? They are waiting for you.” I realized to my horror that I have forgotten about giving a talk that evening. I have mistakenly assumed that the talk was for the next evening but I was wrong.

I called up the organizer. The frantic voice behind the phone tried to maintain her calm and composure and she said, “Francis, we’re waiting for you…..where are you?”

I thought about it and said, “I am sorry. I have completely forgotten all about tonight’s session. This is my fault and my fault alone. It will take me about 40 minutes to get there. Would you still want me to give it a try?”

She graciously said, “We will wait for you. Meanwhile I will ask the 80 plus people to have dinner first while you make your way here.”

Have you ever seen Clark Kent changed his clothes inside a phone booth? I did my act inside the toilet of the gasoline station. Got there in 35 minutes and the people graciously waited. Some of them left but most of them chose to stay. I apologized, told them the complete truth and did my thing. I promised myself to take care of the details and refuse to allow an embarrassing event like this to happen again.

It’s not easy to admit I was wrong. I could have said, “It’s the traffic.” “There was an emergency.” “My wife walked too slow…” or the dreaded….”My associate failed to remind me.” Those were easy explanations but there is only one problem….it’s not the truth. Not being brave enough to tell the truth is a sign of cowardice and it affects our character.

So why is it hard for to admit they’re wrong? Pride. Others call it ego. There are people who prefer to lose credibility than to lose face. These are the same people who are concerned with their image and their packaging more than their character and personality. For others, it’s the fear of having to face the consequences for their actions.

“I might lose the sale so I’ll simply say, The delivery is on the way.”

“The check is on the mail….” Or here is a famous line…”the check is ready but all it needs is a signature…..”

When people are late for an appointment they conveniently blame the traffic, or the blue-shirted men with the pink colored signs along the road. When people say something they were not supposed to say in the first place they twist the truth, explain it away for fear of disapproval, criticism or worst of all, civil or criminal liability.

It is understandable why many people would fold under pressure. This is why ethical behavior will be costly. Right conduct will never be popular. Self-incriminating statements often can and will be used against us. And this is why it takes courage to be ethical and it takes courage to be godly. But guess what Scriptures have to say: “With God, nothing is impossible.”

Be courageous and be strong and don’t fold under pressure.

A good thing we can all do as fathers is to show our children the power of a truthful life. The courage to be honest and maybe… the best thing we can do for our children is to love their mother… truthfully, honestly… and faithfully!

Never forget. God instituted the family first long before organizations or even churches entered the picture.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Cornel Bongco

    Sir Francis,

    Thank you for this great reminder. You have inspired me a lot that I have created my own website. Please visit and feel free to leave a message. God continue to bless you mighty.

  2. Roland Abuan

    Thanks bro, you’re indeed a blessing !
    Keep on blogging and reaching out !

    Thanks+Best regards

  3. Ar mi Dorado

    Sir Francis,

    Thanks for always inspiring us…I’m a fan of yours =)

  4. Paul Garilao

    Nice post, Francis. I am learning some writing tips from you. You have the makings of a C.S. Lewis. To God be the glory!

  5. Espie Albelda

    Hi Sir Francis,
    I’m a big fan of yours, really love your articles in the Phil Star and also your books. Hope to meet you and hug you someday!!!

  6. Jay Jaboneta

    Hi Francis,

    This is so true! It is so hard to admit one’s mistake sometimes. But in the end, its the only thing that works.


  7. Francis Lim

    My wife and I had a chance to hear you speak a few years back here in Butuan. Thanks so much for putting up this website.

  8. James Borromeo

    Hi Francis!

    I attended your seminar at Cornerstone church. That time it really because of the traffic. :))

    Thanks for the wonderful talk. God bless you.

  9. Fritzie Plamenco

    This is very true. Anger has a domino effect–It brings every good thing down, one after another. Thanks for this inspiring post, Mr Kong! 🙂

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