Pursuing the true meaning of excellence

Pursuing the true meaning of excellence

by Regina David on October 15, 2012 - 2:56 pm

Atty. Karen Jimeno. Photo by Carlo Cabrera

Atty. Karen Jimeno. Photo by Carlo Cabrera

Life can be effortlessly easy or difficult by chance, but what a person does with the “lottery ball” assigned to them in life is almost entirely a matter of choice. 

This was pointed out by UA&P alumna Atty. Karen Jimeno, citing the theory of “The Ovarian Lottery” created by iconic business magnate Warren Buffett, during the second session of the University Scholars’ Program last September 5.

Quoting Buffet, Jimeno explained that each person is born with a set of circumstances or a “lottery ball” that “will determine your gender, race, nationality, natural abilities, and health—whether you are born rich or poor, sick or able-bodied, brilliant or below average. You’re going to get one ball out of there, and that is the most important thing that’s ever going to happen to you in your life.”

Jimeno, who was in the defense panel of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, used the theory as a springboard for her talk, which centered on the theme “Excellence: Active Learning and Fostering Academic Skills.”

Focusing on the value of hard work and education, Jimeno lauded her audience for being “creators of their own opportunities,” having been able to enter the University through the merits they earned in grade school and high school. She also warned them against the distorted perception of excellence presented by today’s society, saying that instead of merit, it is the entitlement lifestyle that is highlighted by the media.

“We have to form our own perception based on our principles of what success is, instead of placing our belief in mainstream definitions,” she said.

Jimeno also talked about social responsibility and a meritocratic society as catalysts of excellence, allowing for what Buffet called a supporting system wherein even people who get the wrong ball have access to opportunities. These catalysts encouraged her to take up education as an advocacy and she advised the audience to pursue advocacies of their own, asserting that to whom much is given, much is expected.

She also cited passion as an indispensable factor, along with time management. The way we manage our priorities, she said, is indicative of our long-term growth, and we must make sure that we are trading off the things that are less important to us.

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