It’s not always that you run into these kinds of people. Usually, the cheerleaders in your life hold a special spot and almost certainly get their fair share of recognition. It’s not them I’m talking about. I’m talking about the others. I’m talking about the people you run into just by sheer coincidence and who somehow end up having a lasting impact on your life. Most often you aren’t even aware of the impact they made. Those people who need nothing from you and have no reason to help you, and yet, they do. Their random act of kindness however small and simple that ends up playing a vital role in changing your life trajectory in the grand scheme of things. Who with the smallest act of kindness make a small dent in your universe. They are the unsung heroes in your life.
You may not even know how they might have changed your life. You might have not even known that they were on your side. But in their own way, they protect you, give you another chance, stand up for you, fight for you, nudge the ball towards your side of the court, tilt the world ever so slightly in your favor. Maybe we don’t appreciate these random acts of kindness or even realize it. But these people deserve an award. Cos without them your life would be entirely different for the worse. But it isn’t. And you have them to thank for. The butterflies who cause a ripple effect and change your life.
I was fortunate to recognize one such person. I stood there shell-shocked as I shook her hands to say goodbye. Wanting to say more but holding back. She had been my mentor for the last 2 months and I shadowed her and helped her with her daily tasks at work. It was her last day at work before she left for her maternity leave. She was tough, and for good reasons, she wanted me to learn. I had 1 month to understand and learn the ropes of the role which had taken her 10 years to reach. This job came at a desperate time in my life. I needed it more than anyone can ever imagine. In a completely random series of events, I was hired for a temporary position, and I moved halfway across the country in less than a week, leaving everything behind to see if I can make this work. I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information i had to take in. Most times i fell short and needed her expert advice. She, in her own way made sure i learnt while still providing guidance and providing just enough information to get the task done. When we weren’t working, we talked. We somehow made a connection on a deep level. Probably cos she saw my lost soul and realized that not long ago, she too was in a similar position. And just like me, she too was from another country and knew how difficult it was to make it in a foreign land. She was quick to provide guidance and advice on how to navigate the work landscape as an outsider and someone who doesn’t look like 99% of the people around my workplace. And today as she stood there saying goodbye, she offered some more advice and then said “I have told our manager that you are just great and it would be a shame to just let you go when your contract ends. I hope you do really well and I hope we keep in touch even if we never see each other again”. And I saw a hint of tears in her eyes before she turned around and walked away. I would have teared up too if i wasn’t such a monster.
Her kindness and words moved me. She didn’t have to say anything to my manager. She didn’t need to be so kind to me but she did. She didn’t need to help me move up and handle responsibilities but she did. She didn’t need to provide guidance and give me tips on surviving in this new city, but she did. She didn’t have to introduce me to her friends who had the same background as me, and she thought it would be nice for me to have some new friends, but she did. We were probably never going to see each other, and she could just as quickly have been distant and left me to perish until someone more qualified took over, but she didn’t. She went out of her way to help me out without me ever asking for it. If that’s not a definition of a hero then i don’t know what is.
Will this change my life? Who knows. All I know is that no matter how tough life gets, and how unfair the universe seems, there are people out there trying to balance the scales, so you have a fighting chance. It’s time you started recognizing these heroes. Never stop believing in yourself. And as long as you keep going, know that there will always be people out there who will look out for you even if you don’t realize it.