I live in the bush next to Kruger National Park and commute to my business activities where required.
At times, while commuting I pass a group of ladies that sell fruit and nuts and decided to start buying from one lady in particular whose service is outstanding, called Annie.
After the first couple of stops she pulled me aside and said she needed help. I thought I knew where this was going. She explained that her husband – a driver – was out of work, struggling to find something to do. As she explained my mind drifted off a little, planning how to kindly reject her as every single day I have people asking me for money and the fact that I drive a nice looking car does not mean I have spare cash lying around. When she gave me a gap I proceeded to give her my ‘worked out’ response. She kindly stopped me and said: “No, I don’t want money”. Annie pulled out a couple of papers, which happened to be her husband’s CV, handed them to me and then asked: “Could you please look out for work. You must know people up there. Please help me find him a job.”
Inside I felt ashamed, humbled and surprised. I was impressed by this humble woman, who must earn less per month than what it costs me to fill up my petrol tank…once. She didn’t want my money and she had made the effort to prepare a CV. She looked at my car and saw an opportunity – someone with contacts; someone that must know people; someone that can find her husband a job. She has dignity, initiative and courage. My heart’s desire is that someone reading this needs a driver and finds it within themselves to give Annie’s husband, and by default Annie, a chance. Maybe even offer Annie a job.
I learnt several principles. Don’t judge before being in possession of all the facts – don’t jump to conclusions. As leaders who are under constant pressure to make quick and important decisions we can easily make the mistake of “jumping” the process of evaluation before making a mature judgement. We continue making this mistake in our society – examples are plenty… I’m sure you can think of several other lessons
Two things: Never judge a book by its cover, and please let’s find this man a job, even if it’s for her and not necessarily for him; and to show that good things happen to good people. It isn’t easy to find a job out here in the sticks.