By John Rauschkolb III, KF-12, Philippines

They have a saying in Tagalog (native Filipino language), “hnd k mggng kuntento kung lagi mOng hnahnap ay ang gus2 o ninais mo, matuto kang mag-appreciate ng kung anung meron ka”.  The translation to English is “You can never be content if you keep looking for something that you do not have, so start counting and appreciate the things that you do have…”

Here at Alalay Sa Kaunlaran (ASKI), Inc. in the Philippines they have found a great way to show their staff they are appreciated.  As with many businesses in the U.S., the term “work life balance” is a catch phrase commonly heard but rarely seen.  At ASKI, the words “work life balance” have never been uttered but it is found every day.  They have paired a perfect balance between work and life, and have incorporated it into their daily routine.  Every day the entire office (head office and branches) participate in a morning fellowship from 8am to 9am.  This is a time for singing, praying, hugging, playing games, learning lessons, but mostly just being with one another.  As ASKI comes from a religious background, the morning devotional is naturally focused on Christian values; but more importantly it is about helping the employees to be the best they can be, to show them they are appreciated and are happy to have them be a part of the ASKI family.

Since I’ve been a part of the ASKI family, we have touched on many helpful topics.  Some of my favorite topics include: MAGIC Dreams, Love is Spelled with Time, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Leaders Value Time, Scalar Energy, Efficient and Effective Management, 8 Habits of the Wealthy, Helping Others (I could go on).  This hour a day creates a springboard off which to start your day with a better outlook and appreciation for what you have (family, friends, employment, etc.).  Being enabled emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually everyday improves one’s work life balance by starting the day focusing on what matters most.  At ASKI what matters most is helping people through holistic transformation.

During my second month the staff noticed my interest in the morning devotionals and asked if I would like to lead a session.  They explained that every month someone from each department must lead one devotional and that I can lead the devotional for our department.  I was nervous, enthusiastic, frightened, and indifferent; but ultimately accepted.  Today was the big day and I’m happy to report it was a liberating experience.  The topic was “Is the Character of Forgiveness working in you?” and I must have done something right as I received a round of applause after the presentation (which rarely happens).

In conclusion, there is much to take away from my time in the Philippines, but one of the most important things I’ve learned is that a strong community and fellowship is at the center of a great work environment.  I am content with what I have when I start to appreciate all the blessings I’ve received.


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