Saturday, August 25, 2012

Doing Good

This news article prompted me to write.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/billionaire-ty-warner-gives-woman-20-000-her-165731962.html

In gist, if you're lazy, a billionaire stranger donated to help a woman in need of surgery by a twist of the Kismet....

He was lost while driving.
She gave him directions.
Told him about donating abit of money to help her.
Hands him flyer.
Then he donated the full cost of the surgery.

It was touching and inspiring.  And cinematic, no less.

But these sort of stuff do happen, I can attest to it 'cos it happened to me.

I was a salesperson in the gym back around 7 years ago, it was my 1st non-retail (shopfront) job and quite delighted that I can finally "upgrade" in my career.  Being a fairly consistent top sales in that branch, I finally made SGD$3500 - $4500 monthly, inclusive of commission.  I think I hit SGD$6000 once too.

I was 27 years old, I think.

And it was a very big thing to me, 'cos in retail, I've never been able to exceed SGD$2500 with the shop commission and OTs.

I wanted to go into corporate back in my gym days but never thought that I can 'cos I'm not a graduate and I've no prior experience.  Till someone came into my life.

He was an executive handling the marketing of that estate and liked this chatty + grinning young lady enough to ask, "Have you considered going into corporate?  As sales?"

"I'd love to!  But I don't think I can make it."
"Why?"
"I'm not a graduate and I don't have corporate sales experience."
"Who told you that?  Hahahahaha......"
"That's what I think....."
"It's not true at all.  As long as you're a good salesperson, you can go virtually anywhere.  And you're not old for any industry.  It's a good age to make the jump."
"Really??"
"I can help you."

For the next 1 week, he came up to my gym at lunchtime to review my CV and help me clean it up + put in the right things that will gain the HR attention.

Not long after, I got a job as a corporate salesperson in a company that I've worked happiest in so far of my life + earned the most by far.  And the rest is history.

I'm recounting this story to highlight how important it is to help fellow human beings, not entirely because of the good tidings that one may reap.

It's important to understand we're all in this same big village called Earth, that we should help one another if we can.  We don't have to make it a point to help anyone and everyone coming our way.  But doing it when we feel like it is a giant step for many other people already.

I'm not saying that we should purposely look out to help anyone, sundry and all.  I'm meaning to open ourselves up, to the option of helping others when we'd like to.

** And of course, assess the situation before we want to help = please think twice if a group fight is breaking out, or a robbery going on.  Or a big, furious man raining fists on a woman.  In these situations, your handphone is a better helper.  And pressing that 9-button 3 times.  Don't pretend to be a policeman and yell at them like in the movies, you never know if these people hate the police enough to hit you too.

***  In gist, exercise the brain abit before anything.  =)

I know that most people are too lazy to help, or in the S'porean perspective, too "paiseh" for it.  And this is very odd, given how most people are positively receptive to being helped by strangers.

Why would you be paiseh over it?

Looking back, I've been given all sorts of little help in my home country by strangers, and overseas alike.  They never seek anything material in return and we exchanged smiles and gratitude for the gesture of goodwill.

That's all in the exchange.

It isn't so difficult to smile + say thanks + give a nod to a stranger, yes?  What's so difficult and embarrassing about it?

I do this all the time, even without any goodwill given my way. 

I've smiled at owners of beautiful dogs, cute + behaving kids + their parents.  I'd smiled at a nice hawker auntie or uncle.  I love to strike a conversation with anyone open to it.

And maybe this is how I make friends with some retail people in the neighbourhood that I'm given extra deals not published in the newspaper.  Just because we're comfortably familiar with each other.

It was like going to my friend's store when I walk into my nearby Harvey Norman, a few of the core salespeople remember me, and we'd chat up over nothing or I'd be educated of the electrical appliances that I'm curious over.

Everytime, I'd thank them generously for the tips given.  Everytime I go over, it's like meeting friends up.

And to be totally frank, being chummy with these friends has its perks when you're buying anything, or for some more "inside" answers.

Is it so difficult to make friends with strangers? 
Is it so difficult to smile? 
So difficult to say 3x of "thank you"? 
So difficult to give a sincere compliment of, "You're good!  So knowledgeable ah!"  when it's true?

I know it's difficult for most people to pepper funny bits into conversations to make others laugh, but surely courtesy + a sincere copliment aren't all that difficult?

I think it's the S'porean thing to think too much for the small bits in their lives, hence too holed up for the bigger vision to enjoy + look at life better.

Having said all these, knowing how to trust is an entire different topic together but the core elements to living more or less happily as a human being still stays.

=)

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