"Your greatest test is when you are able to bless someone else whilst you are going through your own trials and tribulations."
Have you ever lost touch with someone you worked with and really got on well with, only for them to ring you up out of the blue and thank you?
Well, that is exactly what happened to me recently!
I am referring to a time when I worked in a large organisation in the City. I have written about my experience in this organisation in my book – Journey to Empowerment: Tackling the Bullies Within. It is within this very organisation that I met this young lady who called me recently. I’ll call her Simone, not her real name but, we’ll go with it, as she’d be mortified if I used her real name in this post.
Simone was a Personal Assistant to one of the Partners in the firm, and we would meet and
have lunch a couple of times a week, but we would always find time to speak with each other somehow, whether it was walking to the train station of an evening or having a conversation when we got home. My mum used to always say… “in every enemy camp there is a friend” Simone was my friend, we got on well and to be honest, it was just so nice to have someone to talk to that understood how the land lay and, the uneven landscape one had to navigate as a black woman during a particularly challenging point in my career.
There were times when I was feeling a bit down and she would send a message to meet up for lunch or, just to check if I was okay. Some days, it was like a breath of fresh air to get a message out of the blue, considering what I was going through and, to top it all off, I was studying for my MA in Human Resource Management; specialising in Human Resource Development (HRD) and, was not being supported by my line manager or the senior manager of the department I worked in. Simone was truly knowledgeable on HR issues, we would often discuss certain scenarios in relation to performance management of staff and, the possible solutions and outcomes of this and other HR related issues. Not only was she deeply knowledgeable but, she was also funny and fun to be with. Each time I spoke to her, I saw someone with great potential in attaining a Senior HR management role and voiced this on several occasions. Simone scoffed when I suggested that she study and gain her MA in Human Resource Management as, I felt she already possessed so much knowledge, the certificate would be the ‘icing on the cake’. Each time I mentioned it, I was cut off sharply and our conversation died or was deflected to another subject. This happened a few more times, until I gave up suggesting it altogether. It was a shame, because each time I saw her and spoke to her, I saw such presence and potential.
It’s funny reflecting on the conversations Simone and I had back then, I'm talking way back say, 14 or 15 years ago; the thing is, I remember it so well as if it were yesterday.
Anyway, I had recently driven through her neck of the woods in South East London and, I thought to myself the area was familiar to me, I knew Simone lived around there somewhere but, I wasn’t quite sure exactly where. So, it was a total shock and pleasant surprise when I received a phone call from her a couple of weeks’ later!
As soon as I answered the phone, she told me who she was and asked me not to say anything until she had finished speaking! She started off by saying that she wanted to thank me, to which I responded okay… you're welcome and, then I asked her what she was thanking me for. She then went on and asked me if I remembered encouraging her many years ago to undertake further studies; she added that I really irritated her at the time, because I just wouldn’t let up encouraging her to study for this degree. She said I had faith in her abilities when she could not see it within herself and for that she truly thanks me. She went on to say that she did indeed go and study for her Master of Arts in Human Resource Management and had attained it. She also asked me if I felt my ears burning at all over the years, because whilst she was slaving away at writing up her assignments and her dissertation, she had been calling my name!! I laughed and said no I had not felt my ears burning over the years but was overjoyed that she had gone ahead and attained her degree despite protesting and saying she could not do it from the outset.
That was a real heart-warming moment for me. There is something exhilarating about being able to bless somebody even when you are going through your own trials and tribulations; not wanting anything in return from them.
This is a short and sweet blog that I just wanted to share with you - to encourage you to always be a blessing along somebody else's journey, because when you bless others, you are blessed in return!
Make this one of your desires for 2021, to be that Blessing Along Someone Else's Journey...