failures and beginnings

   When I was twelve, one of my favorite teachers told us about how difficult it was to create powerpoints, quizzes, and grading sheets because he had no laptop of his own. He always had to borrow someone else's and it was becoming rather tiring for him to keep doing with that. He paused for a while, realized he'd gone off track, and continued on with that day's lesson.

   "Anyway, back to trees. Can I be honest with you guys? I hate trees. It's such a boring topic. Let's make this quick."

   But my mind couldn't concentrate on the pictures of California redwoods and junipers. I kept thinking about how bad I felt for him wanted to repay him for being such a fun and awesome science teacher. I suddenly came up with the idea of raising money to get him a laptop and then surprising him with it by putting the money inside a laptop made out of paper. After class, I excitedly shared this idea with my classmates and they agreed to do it.

   That night, I told my parents about my brilliant idea.

   Of course, it didn't sound so brilliant to them. 

   I don't remember for what reason it was exactly, but the discussion ended with me running to my room crying. Drama llama. Dad came in soon after with some words I'll never forget.

   "I am so proud of you. The way you were able to rally your classmates together to do something good for your teacher shows how much of a leader you are."

   Before he said that, I had never thought of myself as a leader. I didn't want to be one, anyway. I enjoyed simply supporting the leader and doing whatever was needed to be done. But hearing that come from the one man who I could really call a leader, the one who carried our family on his back, the one who would always go out of his way to make time for us, the one whose rules were rules, the one who not just told us what to do but also showed us how to do it, this man made me feel like I could be so much more than just someone who sat on the sidelines.

   Obviously, the laptop plan didn't push through, but there was something way more valuable than the thanks of my teacher that I got that day. My dad had acknowledged the leader he saw in me when I was just a kid struggling with fractions and decimal places. He saw the potential I had before anyone else did. Including me.

   Sometimes I still don't think I'm cut out to lead, but then I remember that everyday, right before reaching the school gate, he would end his prayer for me with,

   "Thank You that she has a purpose. May she be the leader You've called her to be. In Jesus' name."



This blog post is part of Victory Philippines' media movement to encourage its church members to revisit its core values. This week's topic is leadership. #MyVictoryStory

Read these posts for a more flavorful, different perspective on leadership.

1. Waterline: The Marks of Leadership by Perci Paras
2. He Must Become Greater by Rinnah Ramirez
3. Lead to Leave by Paolo Punzalan
4. Stuff My Dad Told Me by Joe Bonifacio
5. I Don't Think So by Jek Valle
6. Growing Leaders Out of Your Kids by Jenn Punzalan
7. To Lead is to Lean, Learn, Live, and Love by Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio
8. Deny Yourself by Dennis Sy

Or click here to read short leadership testimonies.