A friend and I were having lunch the other day at a restaurant. We were being attended to by a very courteous person who was easily twice my age. He called me “sir” twice.
This tugged at my heartstrings.
“What’s his story?”- I wondered. I always ask myself that when I see people who are my parent’s age working hard in hospitality. The hours are long, the work is hard, the customers can often be rude and thankless - what led them there?
When I ask myself that question, I realize that, 95% of the time, the answer is simply that they were just born in tough circumstances. Ours is a society largely constructed by people of privilege to ensure their progeny remain privileged. Yes, things have gotten better..but, for the most part, where you begin plays a huge role in determining where you end up - especially in poorer countries.
Moments like this always make me take stock. They remind me how lucky I am to have had the kind of privilege I’ve had. They remind me that it is very important to be kind, empathetic, and to give others a chance. They also remind me that I have absolutely no right whatsoever to complain. Sure, we all have our challenges but that doesn’t give us the right to be self centered. All this privilege comes with a responsibility to be humble and to work hard to make this world a better place.
All this reflection came from that simple question - “What’s his story?” - it is one I should ask more often.