Me, my workmates participated in the “2012 Cebu Hillylands Reforestation Caravan” – it is a tree planting activity spearheaded by Philippine Business for Social Progress group. The Site was located in Sitio Cantipla 1, Barangay Tabunan, Cebu City. To give you gist of this post, this will be a bundle of my realizations with Tree Planting as well as relating that to People Development, in which I often engage into via trainings, speaking engagements, seminars and the like talks on ICT, Technology, Social media and the like.
Lessons Learned on Tree Planting
I guess I became more aware that there is a HUGE difference between tree planting and tree growing; just planting a tree doesn’t ensure its survivability. Therefore, we need to do Pre-planting activities, Tree planting and then Post-Planting activities. Because most of us who join tree planting activities do not know what we are planting, we might be planting a “Mahogany” seedlings because they’re easy to grow.
But even so, Mahogany is an exotic kind of tree and it disrupts the environment. When it thrives, a native tree specie may be out competed and die but bear in mind also that a tree is a source of food, shelter to different animal species which may also be affected and be wiped out as well. (Basic Biology + Asking Questions + Own research + Technology tools for learning + common sense = the above explanation)
Lessons Learned on People Development
1. Plan and Adjust/Adapt: Pre-planting activities, Tree planting and then Post-Planting activities--You may have missed it but there is definitely PLANNING in every phase of the whole Tree Planing Process. If you are developing your career or is a counselor or people developer, then there needs to be a plan (action items) to reach your ‘Goal’ (Ex. Promotion); an implementation phase (Tree Planting) then an evaluation/feedback (if you’ve reached or exceeded your goals)
2. Timing it right: If we relate that to tree planting, we need to know that a lot is at stake to ensure that we plant at the right place, at the right time, with the right tree specie. You need to know what you want, as well as knowing which skills to develop to get what you want – what do you want to do and how willing are you in doing it?
3. Utilize what’s available: As mentioned above, tools were provided (gloves, etc..), there are lots of tools already provided around us (Ex. Technology: Online tools/apps/software, blogs, ..etc.) and also “people who have been there,” I guess it’s a matter of mustering up the courage to use those tools and reaching out. This activity is actually available/open to ALL people at work in whatever institution or community you are in -it is always a great opportunity to meet, network, chat and learn about other people from different walks of life.
4. Bloom where you are planted: You will probably be faced with a ton of hurdles, problems, frustrations and challenges (Kinda like Climate Change) but you have to KEEP MOVING FORWARD! Also, we need to balance these things out with tackling decisions on needs vs. wants, work and play as well as dealing with other people. I guess the serenity prayer best describes this part: “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.”
5. Everything Big, started small: Matter is made up of microscopic atoms (Geek mode); Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant. (Philosophical mode); Trees started off as tiny seeds, but in order for them to grow you need to nurture, water, get the right soil, location and the like before it gets to be a tall tree. (Well, to be honest I’ve yet to be promoted and these learnings I have are the stuff that I have accumulated in doing community work and I’m finding them useful in keeping me sane and grounded in the corporate world.)
People are somewhat the same; before you can lead, you must first lead yourself and learn how to follow; before doing BIG Things for the enterprise one must do and master the small steps; if you want to save let’s say 100 pesos, you must learn to save 10 pesos first for if you are not disciplined enough in the little things, can you guarantee success in the big things?
Not only do we need to be assertive and responsive in the workplace, in the community, or whatever engagement you are in, but also in addressing the important environmental issues that already have greatly affected us all. Be a Green Hero! Plant a Tree. Save a Life. For at the end of the day, in our careers, projects, relationships (personal/professional) and in our lives — we reap what we sow!
Photo Credits to Paul Ymbong