The Lexus and the Olive tree

If you take a look at the Philippines, what do you usually see at first glance? From my perspective, it is a country with people struggling everyday to compete with the international economy. It is a country in the works, continuously striving to be a part of the “big boys” But it is also a place filled with people who are grounded to where they came from, a country with traditions that are older than time itself. We have our beliefs in both our mythology and religion. Here, family is more important than anything. They have strong ties with where they came from, and we use the famous saying of our Philippine hero: “A person who does not know how look back from where he came from, will never get to his destination.” So before everything, let me introduce to you the concept of the Lexus and the Olive tree. As some of you may know, the Lexus is one of the world’s most expensive brand of cars. It is one of the top line cars out there, with its sleek designs and up to date equipment. Now imagine an Olive tree. An Olive tree has its roots firmly held unto the earth. Some of their huge roots can be seen above the soil. The Olive tree has gone through many things, but still firmly holds its ground. For the past semester, my teacher has been teaching us the world of globalization. I have learned that globalization is like tying up the world with one big knot. That knot includes the exchange of information, culture, economics, ideas and etc., between countries around the world. This way, everything is evened out for each country, giving each country the chance to compete against each other. It is like gathering countries together into one big ship, and being able to converse to each other freely. This also could assist businessmen in expanding globally, giving people jobs with each investor that comes in. Globalization also aids political leaders to become aware of what is happening in other countries. It also lends a hand in the advancement of technology, and giving people the information needed about our environment. Through globalization, the world is moving forward in the era of modernization. Our telecommunications has played a great part in tying up the world, making people go to places without leaving the comfort of their own home. Imagine a world without communication technology. A world without the internet, maybe we have a chance to survive. A world without your phone, perhaps. A world without your radio, maybe. A world without TV, maybe. But what about a world without all of these altogether? Before these inventions came to life, each country was blind with what was happening with the other. Products that are for sale would have different prices in different parts of the world, because there is no uniform price for them because of the loss of communication. Politicians would not be as “friendly” to each other, as they have to travel in person to meet one another, which can be tiring. People would not be aware of what is happening across the oceans, whether or not a war is happening or if there is a change of politics. Everyone would be technically blind with the world, and everything we know will shatter. These advancement in these innovations are categorized as the Lexus. For our Olive tree, we can simply describe this with the concept of our native land. These are the values and traditions that hold together a certain society, and has been a guide to how one must live. The Olive tree is just as important as the Lexus, because with the Olive tree is a world filled with history, lessons from mistakes and etc. With these in mind, where does it leave my country? We come from a strong Olive tree, rooted to the the land for thousands of years. Even with the colonization of different countries, we still have our values and traditions that keep us together. However with the fast paced world, we now constantly sacrifice our Olive tree in order to move ahead with the rest of the globe. We are struggling to find a balance between the two, barely holding on to the other. We compromise one so the other could succeed, and usually we are slowly uprooting our Olive tree to be able to drive our Lexus. In the end, it would really depend on the people within our country. Neither the historians nor the businessmen can dictate which would prevail in the end.

I believe however, that the Filipinos know better than to let go of the Olive tree. Because no matter how much we try to attach ourselves to the modern world, we would still be yearning for the simple life that we have grown accustomed to. No matter how many times we eat at Mcdonalds, we would still yearn for that home cooked meal from our mothers. No matter how far we are from our country we would still strive to keep to our values and the things taught to us by our elders.
But even with all of this, it’s still a world with opportunities that could be lost in a snap of a finger, and everyone is on their heels trying to even get a whiff of the opportunity. The Lexus is still trying to pierce through the Olive tree, almost crashing itself to it. We will only be the ones to blame if we allow the fall of our Olive tree. What others may not realize, is that we do not have to sacrifice one with the other. But that’s a real struggle isn’t it? You have to learn how to move fast, without really leaving where you came from.

And with the world as it is, will we actually find our balance between the Lexus and our Olive tree? 

How about your country? Do you think you have found the balance with the two? 
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34 Replies to “The Lexus and the Olive tree”

  1. This is a great analogy & one that I have never heard before. It's interesting to think about the differences between your country and mine.

  2. it really makes you think about where your country stands.

  3. I think no matter what country you live in, it is always a struggle to find a balance between the Olive Tree and the Lexus. For me, even though I live in the United States, I understand the importance of the Olive Tree. It has been used for many years to heal and has become part of everyones life Worldwide. Being older, I will cling to the Olive Tree trying to save it anyway I can. As for

  4. i agree. a lot of people choose their Lexus, almost forgetting their olive tree.

  5. In the United States there are many cultures all attempting to live together while retaining their own unique heritage. It is not always easy. With the world becoming smaller and smaller because of the internet and the exchange of business it is imperative that we all learn to live together in peace. The Olive Tree (which is also a symbol of peace) has deep roots which should not be ripped from

  6. i think from this point of view, from a place where there are a lot of immigrants, the struggle between the lexus and the olive tree is obvious. people are both holding on to their olive tree, while trying to drive their lexus.

  7. WOW – I'm impressed!! 😀

  8. There's also a growing concept of glocal (global and local) wherein even global brands needs to localize to be able to be marketable in a certain area. While the world is one community, we have to stay within our roots to remember who we are.

  9. If I may ask, why a Lexus in particular and why an olive tree in particular? Is there any significance to these particular specific items? I mean, why not a Ferrari and a Redwood? Sorry nitpicking…<br /><br />Oriental philosophy always looks at things from a balance standpoint. That&#39;s what this analogy is about – a balance between rising and staying grounded. I like.

  10. It&#39;s always hard to find balance. We have been trying to find this balance in our own home with our girls. Thank you for sharing

  11. This piece reminds me of how Japan is still able to preserve its heritage, in spite of the advancements in science and technology that they enjoy. <br /><br />It surely is hard work to keep one&#39;s identity intact in ironic times like these. These are the ironic times when one is asked TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD WHILE ALSO BEING ASKED TO FIT IN WITH IT.

  12. i agree. about the concept of glocal, it&#39;s really becoming rampant nowadays. It&#39;s great that we have our own way in responding to globalization

  13. You will have to ask the author for that..<br /><br />I agree. It&#39;s hard to keep on rising then trying to hold on to your ground.

  14. It&#39;s great if you do that, the way you find balance between the two and apply it at home.

  15. The world really has become more complicated than it should be, even with everyone trying to simplify it.

  16. I do think that there are benefits to the Lexus – since often there are issues with people left at the bottom of the olive tree – so to speak. Those who do not have access to the Lexus can still aspire – education, technology, etc allows people from more walks of life to see and want for better. <br /><br />I&#39;m living in India – my maid was forced out of school at 8th grade, in spite of being

  17. Wow, this is an amazing post! Wonderfully written! How right you are, finding a balance these days is close to impossible.

  18. Wow, this is a great post. I&#39;m so glad to see someone else thinking this way!

  19. I think our country sometimes has let go of the Olive tree a bit too much. We are moving so progressively forward so quickly, they have lost site of what made the country so great in the first place. They can&#39;t see the big picture anymore. I am not so thrilled with where my country has ended up because of letting go of the &quot;olive tree&quot; of traditions and values.

  20. Kitty-Lydia says:

    Excellent, well written post. It made me think about globalisation and you should be proud of what you&#39;ve written 🙂 <br />- Kitty-Lydia

  21. What an interesting analogy to the life we are living today. I have worked very hard to instill in my children to remember their deep roots. I may use your analogy to help make the point next time the subject arises.

  22. I think that balance will forever be a struggle through the end of time. Sometimes it&#39;s easier than others, for sure.

  23. I still personally struggle to find the balance between the two. Although I would love to be that lexus I love having my roots firmly grounded. Loved the analogy.

  24. Great post.. I always try to find balance and it&#39;s really hard to to .. sometimes you are on top like the Lexus and other times you hit the bottom like the tree.. totally understand and loved reading about it…. sure is a great concept…

  25. This is an interesting post. I have never looked at it from your perspective.

  26. I like this line the best &quot;No matter how many times we eat at Mcdonalds, we would still yearn for that home cooked meal from our mothers.&quot;

  27. I can&#39;t speak for others since I&#39;m my own individual. I&#39;ve learned in life that things come and go much as people, thus I&#39;m going to cling onto the olive tree (simplicity and familiarity) long as I can.

  28. Finding a balance is very difficult but I kept trying. I lived in the US and have my family in the Philippines. I kept in touch with them using the technology. Truly, I&#39;m still a family oriented and preferred to be with my family in Philippines if possible.

  29. Wow, this was a wonderfully written article! It definitely is hard finding a good balance.

  30. What a great article. When you have your own family do you feel like you would want to grow in the modern world and move ahead or try to keep with the traditions as long as possible? I&#39;m sure there is a way to do both, but there&#39;s so many ways to stay constantly connected…it&#39;s hard to know where to draw the line, especially with children because they want all the latest and greatest.

  31. It&#39;s so difficult for young people to forge ahead in the global economy, much less in a country that has a struggling economy of its own. You are very insightful and are a profound thinker so I&#39;m sure that you will make your path despite any economic adversity.

  32. It&#39;s always hard to find that balance, and more often not people choose something they really shouldn&#39;t have. I commend those that can take on that struggle and make it work, it&#39;s not always easy but it can be done

  33. I think most of the United States has lost its&#39; Olive Tree. We have forgotten our past and it is sad.

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