I was never the do good for people kind of person. Call me selfish, but I always believed it was a ‘Man eats Man’ kind of world. Survival of the fittest, you know? I worked in the world of finance and it was great. Action, deals that changed hands and banks that could make the annual budgets of many companies look like peanuts – I was proud of what I did and I couldn’t see myself in any other role but the one I had.
That all changed. My mother fell sick due to an illness and although we had time together, she didn’t live past the year. This profoundly changed the way I thought. She was very passionate about an NPO she was involved in – until her last breath. For her, people’s lives were more than just statistics, just like how bank numbers were more than that to me. For me, more numbers meant profit and my eye was always on the lookout to make more.
But after my mum passed away, I decided to continue what she did – It was a sort of legacy to her. Even within the NPO, there were many responsibilities and duties assigned to each member and I’m telling you – it’s no breeze. Give me a board room any day. There were negotiations of every kind, decisions that would directly affect a child halfway across the globe and much more.
It’s like my eyes were opening up to a different life. My old colleagues (I heard later) had made a bet on how long I would last doing this – they thought it was a temporary thing, but I stuck on. I’ve never failed at anything in life because I keep at it until I succeed and I was determined to grow this NPO and help as many children as I could.
Wherever there were natural disasters and calamities, our NPO was there to help out. You should see the expressions on peoples’ faces – there is honestly no better reward. I may not get a huge paycheck at the end of the month and I know that there is no massive bonus at the end of the year, but somehow my soul feels more at peace.
I know what I’m doing now makes more of a difference to others than what I was doing before. So many people want to climb the corporate ladder as quickly as possible, and as I said earlier – it’s a man eat man world. This means that friendships are superficial and relationships are temporary. I hadn’t realized it earlier but that life was slowly sucking my soul dry.
Working with the NPO my mum worked with changed my life for the better. In a way, just as how many of the people we help out look to us as their guardian angels and their saviors, they don’t realize that with each person I reach out to, I am saved. Life is very short and we must do everything to help the people around us in every way we can – this is my way of carrying on the legacy of my mother. This is for her.