Most of my childhood and schooling is a blur, but certain faces I remember from the streets of my neighbourhood. One such face is that of a young man, whom I know as a cousin, I think, of a boy who was in my class throughout my primary school years. Many years later, I started seeing him at my local gym – always just a hello and how are you.
Recently, though, I’ve been talking to this young man almost every day at his new place of employ. We’ve been chatting about life, careers and communities and how difficult it is to remain positive and self driven when you live in an area where people are quicker to pull you down than they are to help you rise above your circumstances!
I offered to type his CV. I read it over the weekend and saw that he only had a Gr.6? I honestly thought that this must be a typo…how is it possible that someone who is but a couple of years older than me, who lived in my community, have not completed their primary school? Surely this must be an error thought the Recruiter in me? He is employed, is always well presented, is articulate and possesses a confidence and an air of immense potential that I’ve seldom come across!
These the thoughts that ran through my mind as I read his CV. Then, I internally punched myself! The realisation that here I am, faced with the fact that “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE”. I’ve often said to people, do not allow your circumstances to limit your potential and your ability to achieve greatness. He’s done it!
Today, I happened to be in the same train as this young man – we started having a REAL conversation! He shared bits and pieces of his life story.
He writes rap lyrics – a reflection of his life journey, his story and observations of the state of his community. He shares a heart shattering story of poverty like I’ve never known…How is it possible, that two streets down the road from my childhood home, lived a young boy whose life was so different to mine, YET here he is today, INSPIRING ME! All it took was a train ride from Fish Hoek to Muizenberg – 15 minutes max, and I’m so inspired by what I now know and what I’ve heard today and what I’ve seen!
The few minutes I spent with him has given me such hope for the future, yes, there are still people, who, no matter how bad their situation, have the strength and insight to reflect on life as it is and KNOW that POVERTY and immense HARDSHIP is no excuse for not LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE EVEN IN YOUR WEAKEST MOMENTS! We all have dreams, we all have potential – and often, falling through the cracks, are people like my new friend!
Inspiration is all around us, all we have to do is stop, observe and listen to the whispers of the “invisible” people around us…I hope to share with you his story and a link to his words that emanates from his life experiences within a community that I can relate to…a story that will be a motivation to others, to never give up.