This story is about a couple and how their actions inspired me greatly to be more. For me, they are #goals in this regard
So, I was at the residence of Mr and Mrs A on Saturday and realized they were planning a party. Not a very big party but they hired a caterer, there were rented seats and tables and music. When I inquired, they said it was for their support staff; people that work in and around their home. When I saw the scale though, I remember wondering at the scale. How many domestic staff could they possibly have?
And then, the people started arriving with their families, and the party began. There was such a ‘joie de vivre’ in the air and everyone was having a nice time. At some point Mr A began to speak and what he said inspired this post. He started by thanking them for their support over the years and said he threw the party to thank God and them for being trustworthy and that is when the honoure reel began. First was his first mechanic just after his service year with the NYSC. At the time, he was a bachelor with a small car and was residing in his first apartment. That was over 20 years ago and the man is still a trustworthy mechanic, serving him up until today. Infact, he said the man introduced him to his then fiancee and borrowed his car at the time to wed. Guess what? The man has his own cars now and a first son in university and the relationship is still intact. Then there was a plumber he met when he just got married who through one of his recommendations got a retainer-ship that grew his business and helped him build his house in Ikorodu. There was an AC technician who also had his wife and kids with him and had enjoyed a relationship of almost 15 years with the couple and then there was the laundry man who had worked with them for over 12 years and a gardener who had served for over 8 years and the electrician who had served for over 15 years. He spoke about a domestic assistant who couldn’t be there. She served for over 8 years and got married from their house. I was really impressed as the stories kept rolling in.
Got me thinking. Yes, some people had come into their lives and did not stay but the progress in the lives of these and them taking time out to celebrate these relationships got me thinking. We spend so much time talking about how bad domestic staff and humans generally can be, but is it possible that with a few adjustments to ourselves and seeing these people in our lives as a ministry we can make.changes that enable us truly live impactfully and birth purpose in others?
There was certainly something different about the way this couple related to the staff that worked in their home and passed through their lives that I have not been able to get out of my mind. And even at this party, they got nice gifts for each couple, besides the chicken, rice and oil packs. That right there is IMPACT. Made me remember a friend whose dad retired from a multinational some time ago with his driver resigning alongside. Her father treated him so well, and he was like a member of their family and continued to serve. He was paid well and some of his kids were on scholarship. Several years later, they held a Christmas party in the man’s honor and gave him keys to his own house in celebration of his service. This is besides the fact that he was well remunerated.
This is just me tasking myself to have a ‘brain reset’ or a ‘mind shift.’ I’m encouraging that we perhaps begin to rethink the way we view people in our lives and see it as a ministry. It is possible to find one or two that we can make better by reason of their interaction with us. Just observing these men and women and their families at that party was very rewarding. Several of them came with their cars, cars that they did not have many years ago in addition to the obvious blessings of wives and kids.
It’s a little reminder to me to be deliberate about impacting everyone that crosses my path. My direct reports, my domestic staff, the security men at the car park, the cleaning agency staff, there has to be a way to try to make everyone who interacts with me better. I know many of these domestic staff can be terrible but even for the good ones we have, how do we invest in them? Are we concerned about their dreams and plans?
We can all leave colorful petals in our wake, beautifying the paths of those around us by our deliberate choices to be better employees, colleagues and parents. We can raise our kids to respect domestic staff and dignify their labour. We can show them that they work for us but they matter. We can listen to their plans and build with them however we can just as they have assisted us to enjoy these busy careers. As we set financial goals for the year, can we extend ourselves a bit to those around us and invest a little more in relationships. Don’t allow a previous bad experience limit you from trying, you may be the reason someone makes a success of their lives.
I hope this strikes a chord with you as it did me.
We can do more!!!
Image credit: The Vision Room, aaupuc.org