My Gift

Every New Year comes with a list of resolutions for many people.
There are, however, some resolutions we don’t make, but good old life will throw some lessons our way and we have to learn fast.
I learnt one of such lessons on the 1st of January, 2017.
As the new year rang in, a young gentleman said he will see me at church in the morning. I said sure.
And so he came to see me after church, but I was in the middle of sending a text message and he also sat a bit too close. So I told him to give me a moment and also some space, whilst my eyes was glued to my phone.(Not cool at all 🙈). He obliged and was patient till I was done in a few seconds. Looking back those seconds feels like an hour to me.
When I was ready to engage with him, he gave me an envelope.
He said it was his gift to me.

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I was speechless and ashamed.
I didn’t even know what was in the envelope, but I was touched. I found out later, it was money.
As I reflected on this humbling experience, I realized he gave me so much more. He gave me a lesson in humility. A gift we all need every single day.
This guy is still a student and it didn’t actually make sense to me, but in life not everything makes sense and not every gift comes with an explanation.

A few months prior I had a gift in my bag to give to someone, but as I got closer to speak to this person he was distracted and also dismissive, so I kept the gift and gave it to someone else. In fact this happened twice.
Looking back I realized I wasn’t as patient and forgiving as this student and I was self-righteous.

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I also realized as much as I like to support young people with their professional development, I have to cut them some slack and know not all of them know what I know or have half my exposure.
They need time and I need more patience.
My role is to gently guide them to this place of emotional intelligence.
I also learnt to “switch off” or put my Global Graduate Coach “hat” away sometimes. Not every day is a training day.
There is a time and place for it all.
So this year, I will be very mindful of this and not let the slightest shadow of ego get in the way.
Ego really is the enemy.
May we all have a little humility as we interact with everyone, because it is human and you never know who has your gift.  Happy New Year to you!

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