Last week, on a Friday afternoon just before I was about to leave the office to officially start the weekend, I received a beautiful thank you letter from a colleague of mine which I also mentored. This letter was so beautifully written, and I was extremely touched. This letter reminded me that sometimes we forget the power of a simple thank you or a good word. This definitely made my day.
Later in the afternoon, after I picked up my son we went to buy a few things and on our way through the main shopping strip, we saw a young lady sitting on the footpath, something about her caught my eye. She held a note that said: “I truly need your help, I’m really trying but really struggling”.
All I had was few coins, but I felt it wasn’t enough and when my son told me that there is an ATM nearby, I turned to him and said that we are going to give her something else, hopefully better than money, we are going to give her something called hope.
We looked for a clothing store nearby and bought few clothes that seemed to be matching her size. At the store, I asked the owner if we can return and replace it and ensured that she won’t be able to get any cash refund. We went back to her and she told us that she is 23 years old and that she is living on the streets. I gave her the clothes we bought and told her that this is her rock bottom and from here she could only climb up if she chooses to do so. As it wasn’t the right size, we went back to the store with her and helped her to choose clothes that suits for a job interview. As we left the store, she was extremely touched and grateful. I asked her if she has anyone, she told me that she is rebuilding her relationship with her mum. She looked fragile and I said to her that she looked like she really needs a hug. And sometimes this is the only thing one is needed, someone who believes in you and show you that there is hope.
After I picked up my daughter, we saw her back on the street and my daughter asked me if I’m disappointed that she went back. I told her that I’m not, and that we all have a choice to make and that both of my kids should be grateful that we have us and that we will be there to protect each other.
Sometimes in life we get these rare opportunities where we can share with our kids some wisdom and gear them up to what life is all about. Sometimes you can take the wrong turn and end up on the streets. The question is, what do you do when you get to this point and what choices do you make. This is how you teach what resilience is about.