We have this teenager at work that life is not serving him well. He is in his teens without all of the opportunities that other teenagers have. When I say opportunities, I mean the basics; a home with working parents, a home that he hasn’t had to move out of in the last two months and has been living at for more than a year, and three meals a day. These are the basics that every child should have. Recently he has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes which just adds to his long list of obstacles. What he has though that many other young adults his age do not is a job. We hired him last July and since then he has began to really mature and become an adult. This has happened because he has an entire staff in his corner. We won’t let him fall when he is in our presence. We push him when he needs to be pushed and hold him accountable when he doesn’t meet expectations. There are times when we need those people in our corner and there are times when we need to be in someone else’s corner.
I think that there is a moment in adulthood when we are able to acknowledge who has been in our corner and has been our support
systems. Acknowledging these people may not come to us early in adulthood, but it comes. I believe it is one of the resolutions
of life that we need before we die. In this gratitude, we then begin to consciously know when we see someone who is in need of someone in their corner.
I don’t want to confuse this concept with basic kindness or caring for a loved one, because it is different. We do things for our loved ones out of
unconditional love and are kind because it is the “good” thing to do. The concept of being in someone’s corner can involve kindness and love, but it can also involve pity and hope; The concept only orbits around the idea that selflessly, we are trying to better someone else’s universe. It can be someone who we find essential to our lives or someone that we regard as an enemy. The key is that their outcome has no relationship with our outcome.
Taking the opportunity to be in someone’s corner does make us feel good, and ideally we learn lessons from it, but it works mostly as a
“pay it forward” lesson. Someone was there for us, and now we can use our strengths and resources to be there for someone else: Simple and selfless.
In the case of our adolescent friend at work, I look forward to see what happens to him as he becomes an adult. A huge reason I became the adult I am now is because of my first job. Those people molded me into a delegating, decision making machine who could think for myself. As I watch this sixteen year old, I see how he has developed in this atmosphere in less than a year. I take special notice to when our staff take special interest in running him to Wal Mart to get new shoes or rally together to make sure he wins his school fundraiser in having the highest sales. The staff is in his corner and it will ultimately have no influence on their lives, they are just there for someone who needs support.
We Are All Involved!