It’s nearing end of the year and while many of us are celebrating, there are some out there who gets depressive during festive seasons.
While everyone is rushing to complete their Christmas shopping and decorating their homes, someone out there might not have a home to go to. A roof over his head maybe but an empty house is not considered a home if there is no warmth. This article is not going to be a nice heartwarming post but an awareness article.
Look around at the people surrounding you particularly your coworkers. Do they have families and friends nearby that they are celebrating with someone or they are holed up alone?
I remembered when I was in Shanghai, Christmas was cold and smoggy. ( Yes, you read right. Smog from pollution situation in China.) It could have been a disaster for me if not for the fact, I was traveling back home to have my celebrations. Many of the foreigners aren’t so fortunate, many of them had to work during the holidays to make ends meet back home. Buying an air ticket during festive holidays means a hole burnt in the wallet. Many of us have to ballot among ourselves who gets to fly home for a week to see our loved ones and who needs to stay back due to work commitments. I know this doesn’t only applies to foreigners, it applies to folks who have families living miles away too.
Companies who closed during the festive seasons so that all workers could go home – kudos to them! But most of the companies are at their full operations since it is also the high time of the year for consumerism. Some companies even depend on Christmas and New Year to break their yearly target.
I remembered when I was working as a manager in Singapore, one of the staff from the other team wanted so badly to go home and yet wasn’t lucky enough to be in the group that won the ballot to go on leave. She cried so badly because she was missing her children and husband in the Philippines; and Christmas was a big holiday for them too. She told me that she have already missed her daughter’s first day of school when she came to Singapore to work and how her son always crying for her when they Skyped at night.
I relate this back to my team and immediately I had half of the hands in the room shot up to volunteer to take her place. I was extremely touched by how many of them would willingly sacrifice this for a person who is not only in our team but was a direct competitor team as well. After a deep discussion with her manager, I somehow convince him to allow one of my local team member to take her place. Well, it wasn’t that difficult to convince him when I pointed out a sobbing disgruntled employee wouldn’t make a great sales person anyways. When we broke the news to her, she was smiling through her tears, thanking my guy profusely. My team had gathered little gifts, pre-loved toys, and books mostly for her to bring home to her family. This has a lasting impact on her. Today she stands proudly as a young successful manager in the same company for over eight years.
So look around you, your coworkers who don’t get to go home, share a little warmth and love on this festive seasons. A little gift, a cup of hot chocolate or a warm greeting with a smile could mean the world to them.
A little kindness goes a long way.
Do you have similar Christmas kindness stories to share? Come and tell us at comments below.