Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Pearl Principle and National Economic and Moral Recovery: Essence of the Pearl Principle

(Second of three parts of a series of articles written for the Business Section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer by Professor Nelia Cruz-Sarcol, Founder and CEO of the Centre for International Education.)

Part 2:

An unsuspecting oyster, peaceful and content with the way submarine life was taking its normal course, was suddenly invaded by hundreds of teredo micro-organisms from everywhere. A daring teredo swept its way straight into the inner chambers of the oyster’s shell and lodged in its virgin flesh. The oyster tried to expel the invader but as it did, the irritation burnt the inflaming muscles more. The discomfort became unbearably painful. Rescue from the surrounding waters was nowhere in sight. The oyster could only think of an impending death.

But you see, the oyster refused to die. While its effort to expel the teredo became futile, the oyster instead thought of easing up on the deadly irritation wrought upon its aching flesh. It then assessed the resources available to it from within. The oyster discovered that it has a natural weapon to respond to this kind of threat: by secreting NACRE.

With the resolve to stop the pain and discomfort, it coated the teredo with layers upon layers of this smooth and luminous nacre. Painstakingly, the oyster labored hard and a pearl was created.

Proudly, the Pearl Principle National Coalition, as convened by like minded Filipinos from the middle class, offers you the gift of the pearl, this miraculous living gift from the sea----the only gemstone produced by a living entity---- the creation of beauty from adversity, of art from irritation.

The story of the pearl illustrates that even the worst and most painful experience can become something of a healing artistry. The creation of a pearl is a glowing example of a mortal threat transformed into magnificence.

The Pearl Principle is the advocacy of transforming a state of hopelessness into a state of optimism were opportunities are created as in the making of a pearl.

Our country today is literally and figuratively invaded by countless “deadly teredos” that are breaking apart our “envisioned strong Republic” and rendering our people hopeless. The irritation and the discomfort brought about by crisis after crisis, have reached unbearably high proportions.

The Pearl Principle reminds us that adversity is really part of ourselves. However, some of us respond to these pains and hardships by fixating on the pain, keeping it fresh in our minds for weeks, months and even years--- some a lifetime. Others take small irritations and blow them out of proportion, making them larger irritations. Complaining and dwelling on the problem, on the pain or ordeals endured will only result in a life overshadowed by unending dissatisfaction and stagnation.

The Pearl Principle reminds us that we can convert pain, misfortune, ordeal or failures to something of value. Our essence as a nation is formed out of obstacles that we confront as a people and as a country. Our experiences, painful and hard surround the core of our being. Each of these challenges is our nucleus for creation, each victory over the hardships we endure is another pearl in our path.

Transformation occurs again and again in our growing process. Every incident, every emotion, every success, every sorrow, becomes another layer of our national development….exactly like the many layers of nacre that coats the deadly teredo microorganism---creating a beautiful pearl.

Our pain, which can be unspeakably intense and sometimes debilitating, brings the lessons we never forget. They are imprinted deeply in our core--- we should use these experiences to better weather future struggles. Our core must be solid and hard, the layering actually helps us mature…and shall help us see beyond what others do not see.

How many of us can take a challenge, as oysters do, find the gift within ourselves and actually turn it into something positive? This is what the Pearl Principle teaches us--- to find and honor our strength and flexibility in the inner power to create and succeed rather than break-apart.

We offer the pearl principle as a potent tool and strategy to help us recover from this debilitating state of hopelessness. We present the analogy of the oyster called the Pearl Principle--- as the most viable way to effect positive change: the change from within and within one’s sphere.

Together, we shall become the catalysts for change to make our country a better nation… we shall endeavor to become the oysters that would create the TRUE PEARL OF THE ORIENT.

Our vision is to create a S.T.R.I.N.G. of P.E.A.R.L.S.

This means a Strong and Tenacious Republic Instituted by Nation-loving Generations of Passionate, Ethical, Action-driven and Results-focused Leaders of Society.

This is a vision was crafted by a group of over 500 Filipinos from all walks of life--- who found themselves huddled last September 28 and 29, 2004 at the Hotel Intercontinental Makati city—in search of a new meaning and of a new resolve to better themselves---ourselves--- for the country. There is a need to inspire and henceforth, engage every Filipino to roll-up their sleeves and buckle down to work to awaken our strong sense of nationhood.

The group leaders selected by the participants themselves have met twice since then. The group flew to Cebu City in November 2004 and met again in Makati City last January 10, 2005. There is another meeting on February 12, 2005, Saturday. Those who attended Pearl Principle Conference last September 2004 and are interested to join the core group, please don’t hesitate to email for details. The group is now called the Pearl Principle National Coalition.

The Pearl Principle. Copyright Centre for International Education. All rights reserved.

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