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Monday, November 23, 2009

My journey to understanding

I have heard many times that experience is the best teacher. That is just a theory until you live it.

I used to work in a department whose main purpose was to find accommodation for new immigrants. It was a great experience. Not only was I able to visit many places in the city, but I made many friends too. Some moments were more memorable than others. Sometimes I would work so much that my boss had to remind me about my vacations (get a life, I hear you saying).

Every now and then, I would take 2 to 3 days and go for a trip. And that summer of 2005, I went to South Carolina for a business conference (great road trip in a bus for 16 long hours, half of which spent sleeping). On Tuesday, I came back to the office and a co-worker of mine told me that there was someone I should call (was this a lady? I asked...just kidding). She gave me the phone number of this gentleman. Half an hour later, the guy was in my office and we had a little chat.

After a while, he told me he was new to Canada and his passion was TV production (I guess that was the reason why my co-worker wanted me to talk to him). So I called my people who called some people, and he started to work as a cameraman. He also needed to move in a new place. I found him a cheap one (I had connections as you can tell). After a while, we became close friends and he started opening up a bit. He told me that when I called him for the first time, he was thinking about committing suicide as he felt helpless. In a few words, my phone call saved his life. I was moved by what he told me.

Our conversations kept becoming more interesting with time. And then came the blessings. As I was more and more fascinated by this guy, I started giving him some gifts as I could see he was in need. The first gift I gave him was a nice African shirt that I had for a while but never wore. He liked the shirt. And the next day, what a great surprise I got as one of our co-workers was coming from vacations in Europe. She thought about us and brought us some gifts. I received from her (and this is no joke), 2 brand new suits, one brand new pair of shoes, 6 shirts and 9 T-shirts. This was awesome!!!

After a few days, I met the guy again and he told me that he was facing some challenges as it was the beginning of the month. It was hard for him to move around in the city as he did not have money for transportation. Again, I felt I could help. So I offered him to buy his monthly pass for public transportation. The guy was in tears. He started to call me his father (did I mention that he was 55 years old?). So, I had a son who was almost twice my age (which I won't mention).

And this is when it became really interesting. The next day, I received a call from a great friend and business partner who told me that he wanted to give me a gift. He told me that he just bought a new car and he wanted to give me his previous car as a gift. Are you kidding me? Can this really happen?

Yes, it did indeed happen. I got a car as a gift. This has never happened to me before (and I'm still waiting for a second time...).

Back up a little bit. I gave my friend one African shirt, and I got a bunch of clothes from my co-worker. And then, I gave him the monthly pass for his transportation and then I got a car? What a deal!!! (sign me in anytime).Who said that when you give you will receive? I guess for me it was just a theory until it happened to me...twice.

Moral of the story? You should all buy African shirts. You may end up driving new cars.

Always a pleasure.


The Journeyman

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