Jessica Sanchez: Admirably Stoic

Last week, Jessica Sanchez, a Filipino favorite for the American Idol tilt this season, was saved from elimination.

What struck many people was the fact that this girl, arguably the best in the contest, was almost kicked out–this has happened before. There are many possible explanations: AI voters assuming that she can succeed without winning the competition, them wanting to go against apparent favoritism on the judges’ part, an attempt by the producers to drum up interest in the show. Whatever the case, it happened.

What struck me was how Jessica reacted. She said she wasn’t expecting anything. “I just do what I do. Whatever happens happens, and I just want people to know that I’ve been working hard my whole life…”

Here’s a picture of grace. She does all she can, she’s got what it takes to win, but in the face of elimination, she didn’t fuss or cry or shake her fists in anger. She just rolled with it, and was ready to sing for the save.

Some people may misread that as a lack of hunger on her part. If she didn’t get upset, she must not really want it. Don’t let her win.

For me, that’s crazy talk. First of all, this is a talent competition, not a “how much do you want this” contest. As Randy said, they’re looking for the best. Contestants should be voted based on their merits, and Jessica has plenty of merit as a singer.

Second, a person who does not express hurt over losing can be just as invested in winning as the ones who gnash their teeth over defeat. We shouldn’t decide the winner of a contest based on “what would happen if she lost?” Should we reward those who have a tendency to be sore¬† losers? I don’t think so.¬† The winner should be the one who’s earned it.

So for her reaction during last week’s possible elimination, Jessica’s already won in my book.

Thanks to kittenpiglet0221 for the clip!

Keeping Everything in Step

There’s an ugly, ugly connotation to the word “standardization.” It sounds so clinical, so cold, doesn’t it? It sounds like you’re taking something, and squeezing it, crushing it, cutting it to fit into a mold that it wasn’t initially meant to fit into. It seems like an attack on individuality and uniqueness and consideration.

For me, it’s not. Standardization is actually a tool for consideration.

We’re all connected, like it or not. We all eat, breathe, sleep, and live. And these actions that we do, consciously or unconsciously, affect others. It’s important to keep that in mind, to make sure we don’t overstep our boundaries, to make sure we don’t step on anyone’s toes or block anyone’s path.

Just like space, time has boundaries. Every event has a beginning and an end. If one is truly committed to being considerate, one should have a clear picture of how much time he or she needs for something. Having that clear picture, he or she can then give others an accurate commitment of when something will be done. For many people, making a schedule seems tantamount to an exercise in Nostradamus-like prediction. “You can never can tell,” as one popular joke says. But there are many things within one’s control, and one has the ability to schedule and commit to something to a certain degree.

To increase our ability to exercise control and consideration, a program called Juan Time has been announced. It hopes to address the Filipino malady of “Filipino time,” which is known to make scheduled meetings and engagements begin and end hours late.

I am sure this is not meant to introduce a culture of “zero tolerance,” where when one is late, one is late, mitigating circumstances be damned. But I do applaud the proponent’s appreciation for and desire to instill a culture of professionalism in our country. I also hope that it’s taken seriously enough to make a difference.