I was out for a walk the other day, during my lunch break, and I’d been craving shawarma from my favourite little spot near by. Interestingly enough, I had just watched an extremely powerful talk by Simon Sinek about Millennials (it’s not what you think). Anyway, I finally arrived at this tiny little shawarma takeout place, which is family owned and where the men who work there always serve you with bright beautiful smiles. The pleasant, friendly service is half the reason why I like that place so much; the other half is of course the delicious food on which I always put way too much garlic sauce for someone who has to work in close proximity with colleagues all afternoon.
That day, I noticed that the youngest in the family wasn’t feeling it. I’d spoken to him before and he had shared his passion of working in the fitness industry and his dream of opening his own gym. But he hadn’t been successful and so had taken this job. His smile was usually the brightest… but today, when I asked him how he was (as people do when they greet each other), he smiled kindly, allowed himself to be authentic with me for a few seconds, and admitted that he was just “alright – same old, same old”. I offered something along the lines of “Well it’s better than a lot of other people, right?”. But I knew, as I walked away, that I had missed an opportunity. (more…)
I received a message from a friend the other day. The question that this person asked me was one that I asked myself for a long time. And I hadn’t realized that I had the answer until I wrote him back. I want to share this conversation with you today, with my friend’s permission and anonymity, in the hopes that it might help you too.
I grew up surrounded by poverty and addiction. So when I dug myself out of that hole and attained middle class-ness, I found that I couldn’t bring my whole family with me. I can’t even help them with money because it only feeds their addictions. So I watch as they slowly kill themselves through awful decisions – medical, or drugs or alcohol, or abusive relationships – and I can’t help because they won’t accept what I can offer. No amount of money, even if I had it, would solve the problems of a lifetime of habitual behaviour. When this happens, Mel, how do you deal with the guilt? (more…)