REMEMBER SOMEONE WHO HELPED YOU
“Appreciation is an excellent thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us, as well.” – Voltaire
It was September of 2009, and I was entering one of the busiest times of my life. I had just been selected to be a student representative on the University of British Columbia’s Olympic Steering Committee, was coordinating a campus-wide organization for student engagement during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, and also happened to be entering my final year of law school.
It was an exciting time, but it was going to be a busy year.
I often have a lot on the go at once, and find it tough to make sure I am balancing my personal life and stay healthy. Knowing this, I decided to set some goals in these areas in addition to the goals I already had for my academics, career, and the student engagement work for the 2010 Winter Games. After setting these goals, I found myself stuck on one thing; how I was going to find the time to consistently cook healthy meals and eat well.
Later that day, I was checking my email and got an email from the Indian Students’ Association on campus. A student had sent out an email saying that he too was going to have a busy year and was looking for a caterer or someone to help him out. This was something I had never considered before, but I decided to also try sending out a similar note on the club’s list serve.
It turns out that a girl in the club lived two buildings away from me on campus and her parents brought her food on a weekly basis. Almost without a hesitation, she said that they were willing to bring some for me as well.
So every weekend thereafter, I would meet her and her parents to pick up some delicious, home cooked food. On special Indian occasions, they even would bring me sweets or special dishes to ensure that I felt like I was a part of it. I would try to pay them more for the amount of food they would bring, but they would always refuse.
They were genuinely kind people, helping me out of the goodness of their hearts.
Over time, from seeing each other on a weekly basis, I developed a strong bond with the family. Going to pick up the food was something I looked forward to. It gave me a chance to hear about their week, share a few moments together, and get to know them better. Most of all, since my parents were across the country in Toronto, it helped me feel connected and gave me a sense of belonging.
It has been over two years since I last spoke to the family, and for some reason, just last week I was reminiscing about my final year of law school and the amazing experiences I had during the 2010 Winter Games. The family and the daughter came to mind, so I sent the daughter a short note on Facebook to reconnect. We chatted for a bit, and decided that all of us would meet and catch up over dinner the next time I was in Vancouver.
Thinking about it now, it was incredible what the family and daughter did for me. They truly saved me so much time from cooking that year, supplied me with great food, and cared for me deeply as if I was their son. Time may have passed, I may not be in Vancouver anymore, and we may be busy with our lives, but I will never forget what the family did for me and how they made me feel.
If you think about it, it is amazing how many people come into your life to support you in your journey. Whether it is my grade 5 teacher who I still keep in touch with, or my best friend who I’ve known since high school, or this family who helped me during law school, there are so many people I appreciate and am incredibly grateful for in my life. It is these people and experiences that drive me to create good with my life, pay it forward, and make a difference in the lives of others.
This week, who can you remember and appreciate?
Maybe you write them a “you’re awesome” note, take them out for a coffee to catch up, or even make a Thank Call, but know that they are always there for you and would love to hear from you.