Few months ago, I was in the library just surfing the internet. Did I mention I am a substitute English teacher? Okay so I got a part-time job at this private school. And the library happens to be my office, where I stay for a few hours when I am in school before jetting off to my other place of work.
So back to me being at the library. One of those days, quite early in the morning, I had just taught a class and decided to rest in my office.
I was engrossed in my phone, when I observed a young chap at the door. He walked up to my desk and starts talking about something. I couldn’t really understand what he was getting at, because he wasn’t coherent.
Many of the students in the school have a hard time communicating in English, which was one of the reasons I got employed.
He was not one of my students so I was very dismissive. I told him I wasn’t understanding him in a very harsh tone and I signalled with the wave of my hand that this discussion was over even before it started.
The boy looks at me, says nothing and walks slowly towards the door with some books in his hand.
I looked at him walking out and felt a bit disappointed in myself, as one of my favorite quotes pops in my head…
You can easily judge the character of a person by how they treat those who can do nothing for them.
_Malcolm S. Forbes
I called him back and asked what he wanted. Apparently, he was given a class exercise to look up some words in the dictionary. And he had waited for me to get to the library, so that he could ask for my help on how to use a dictionary.
I helped him out and when he left, I felt happy to not have let him down.
We are friends now.
I am sharing this because I feel it’s not really cool to be too quick to dismiss and cut people off just because we feel they have nothing to offer us.
It is not just about what people can do for you but also what you can do for others when there is nothing at stake…now I think, that’s character.
Have a great weekend!
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