I have always believed that everyone has a story to tell. No-one is ever in a bad situation by choice. No-one is ever homeless, unemployed, cheated on, raped, burgled (you name it) by choice. What we do with the situation is what matters.
I once heard the following quote, which is something that I live by: It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, as long as you get up once more. On the other hand, I also know that at some point you feel that you just can’t get up anymore, that there is not a single reason why you should get up and giving up appears to be the easiest thing to do. It is at this point, when you summon the last bit of willpower that you have left to get up , when you make the choice the try once more, that G-d, the Universe, the Higher Self (whatever you want to call it) sends us “co-incidences”. It might be an old friend or a new one, the sight of spring blossoms or a beautiful sunset, a child’s laughter or a pet rubbing up against your leg. I have a lot of stories to tell, as do you. I’ve had a lot of turning points in my life, the last major one a year ago.
Okay, I’m getting side-tracked here! I watched The Soloist with Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr for the first time last night. Thank you SABC3 for giving us a great mid-week movie! It really moved me and got me thinking about people’s stories. It’s always interested me, people’s stories. Why they do what they do, why they act and re-act the way they do, why do they say the things they do. What makes them tick. Thus, I have always been a bit “nosy” and don’t hesitate to ask.
That’s how I came to know the car-guard called “Gucci”. Gucci in his tattered jeans, jacket, sunglasses and Gucci cap can be found in the parking area outside a popular fast food restaurant every evening. Come rain or cold or sweltering summer nights, Gucci is always there, always smiling. Every single car that enters the car park is greeted with a smile and “Good evening ma’am / sir, welcome!”. Every single car that leaves is met with a “Thank you for making an excellent choice for your dinner, we appreciate your support”. Whether they greet him or not, whether they even acknowledge his existence or not, it matters none to Gucci. Gucci is there doing his thing and is very grateful for any bit of money that comes his way. I asked around and found out that they do not pay him to be there and I was blown away by his loyalty to this place and its customers. One day I asked Gucci about his story. As the only surviving son of his family, he moved in with his elderly father, who suffers from Alzheimer’s and had a stroke after his mother passed away. His wife did not like this much and left one day, leaving him to look after his sickly father and his 3 sons (aged 4 – 16). This off course had a toll on him as it became increasingly difficult to juggle a job, kids in school and at home. He is a qualified Fitter & Turner and his employer became unhappy with him turning up late for work. Understandably so, but where is the human factor to stop and listen. I think we’ve lost the ability to really listen to what someone has to say and we as a human race are so self-involved and concerned with our own happiness that we don’t know how to listen anymore. He lost his job and have been struggling for 2 years to find something again. All the while, his children can’t go to school, his father is constantly disappearing and his two eldest sons are getting involved with the wrong crowd and petty crime is the natural order of business for them. And Gucci? Gucci keeps smiling, knowing deep down somewhere that things will get better and that he is fortunate to be alive and well! Speaking to him was such a humbling experience. I gave him my very treasured copy of “The Secret”. He cried. I cried. Two weeks later I went past there again to see how he’s doing and noticed a new guard. I asked about Gucci. Turns out he got a job. I hope to see him again one day. I hope his story has a happy ending.
There are loads of other stories I could put here. Point is, everyone has a story to tell. Anyone can make a difference.
What is your story? What can you do to make a difference in the outcome of someone else’s story? How will you story end?