I am the only one that knows this story. There may have been three of us in the room but I was there as God’s witness, even though, I did not know that at the time. I remember it well, I was a part of the story but it is not my story, it is his story.
Let me take you back about ten years:
He and I had both just been hired at a senior living community and were in the new hire orientation.
I had been trying to get a job at this place for some time and I finally snagged one, albeit a part-time gig with no set hours or schedule. The big boon for me was a job working in a field I had always felt drawn to and had worked in before.
He was a young kid, barely eighteen, a high school dropout who had recently had a brush with the law. He was not the poster child for the ideal job candidate by any means.
I, on the other hand, was in my forties and could have used a full-time position. I had a bachelor’s degree and experience working with seniors. However, I was thankful to be hired.
The HR manager conducted the new hire orientation; she gave us both big binders full of information about working there. As she went through the binder explaining the various things in it she would look over at him and in a positive and in an upbeat tone of voice tell him about all the wonderful benefits he would receive as a full-time employee. She then would turn to me and say in a monotone voice, but you don’t get this so you can sit there while I go over this with him. As each new thing in the binder was introduced and gone over this was repeated with her cheerfully going over all the wonderful things he would get and again turning to me and telling me that I would not get any of it. She also glowingly shared with him about the immense opportunity for advancement in his department and then turned to me and told me that there was none in my department. I could understand that as a full-time employee, he would get benefits I would not but I could not understand her exuberance toward him and her dismissive attitude toward me. I remember the sting of her words.
I no longer work there; I wasn’t even there a year. She was right, the department I worked in could not offer me the hours I needed so when I was offered a full-time position somewhere else, I took it.
Yet, for him, and remember it is his story. He was bolstered from the beginning, he was told about all the wonderful opportunities he would have. The things he heard and the tone they were delivered to him in literally altered his life.
I know they did because the other day I picked up my local paper and there he was smiling in his chef’s uniform. The caption underneath gave his title as The Executive Chef. He had won an award that night for the best dessert at an event where he was competing against some of the best chefs in the area.
I thought back to that day when I met him in our new hire orientation. I thought back to this kid who was beginning a new chapter in his life. I thought back to his title at the time, which was a dishwasher. I thought back to her telling him that he could go far, and he did!
I am truly happy for him and his success. I don’t know all of the story in between then and now, but I do know that he had to have put in the hard work to get where he is today; he should be extremely proud of himself. Yet, I believe that if on that new hire orientation day he had not heard someone speak to him in such positive ways, giving him hope for a bright future, he would have had a very different outcome.
This story is a testament to so many things. I am telling it to you for two reasons, the first I shared with you, that he was spoken to and given such a wonderful picture of his future. This points out that the way we speak to one another has a profound impact on our lives and the lives of those around us. We literally have the power to change someone’s entire life by how we speak to them and the faith that we have in them to reach their potential.
However, there is a more profound second reason; this one is veiled in the story. It is somewhat my story, as I was there as the witness, but it is really your story, the story of feeling like you were treated unfairly, or not given an opportunity, or spoken to unkindly. It hurts, it stings, and it is difficult to understand why it happens. The outcome of this story points to a very high spiritual reason, you were chosen to be a witness to someone’s glory! In addition, you were chosen to be the remembrance of how we are to treat one another. Sometimes the hurts we carry are there to build a stronghold to give to others. You were chosen to be stronger and bolder so you can stand up for others.
Be of good cheer friends for you are chosen to be the greatest you in the universe. Thanks for being there to read and share our stories.