One day, a young academically excellent young man went to apply for a managerial position in a large company. He passed the first interviews. One of the company officers was to do the last interview, and he would be the one who would make the final decision about hiring the young man.
The company officer noticed from the youth’s resume that his academic achievements were excellent throughout his schooling—including high school through post-graduate research work. There was never a year when he did not earn high scores and commendations.
The company officer asked, “Did you obtain any scholarships in school?” The youth answered that he had received none.
Then the youth was asked, “Was it your father who paid for your school fees?”
The youth answered, “My father passed away when I was one year old, It was my mother who paid for my school fees”.
He was then asked, “Where did your mother work?”
The youth answered, “My mother worked as a clothes cleaner.” The company officer then requested the youth to show him his hands. The youth showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect.
The officer asked, “Have you ever helped your mother wash the clothes during all these years?”
The youth answered, “Never. My mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than I can”.
The officer then said, “I have a request. When you return home today, go to your mother and clean your mother’s hands. Then come see me again tomorrow morning”.
The youth felt that his chance of landing the job was high. When he went back home, he happily requested that his mother let him clean her hands. His mother was surprised, but pleased. With mixed emotions, she showed her hands to her son.
The youth cleaned his mother’s hands slowly and tenderly. A tear fell as he did that. It was the first time he noticed that his mother’s hands were very wrinkled, and that there were many bruises on her hands. Some bruises were so painful that his mother shivered when they were cleaned with water.
This was the first time the youth realized that it was this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday that enabled him to pay his school fees. The bruises on his mother’s hands were the price that his mother had paid for his graduation, academic excellence, and his future.
After he finished cleaning his mother’s hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for her. That night, mother and son talked for a very long time. Next morning, the youth went to the company for the final interview.
The company officer noticed tears in the youth’s eyes and asked: “Can you tell me what you have done and learned yesterday when you went home to your mother?”
The youth answered, “I washed my mother’s hands, and I also finished washing all the remaining clothes that needed cleaning”.
The officer said, “Please tell me your feelings”.
The youth said, “Number 1, I know now what appreciation is. Without my mother, I would not be the educated, successful person I am today.
Number 2, by working together and helping my mother, only then did I realize how difficult and tough it was for her to labor faithfully all those years.
Number 3, I have come to appreciate the importance and value of a loving and meaningful family relationship”.
The officer said, “This is what I am looking for in someone to be my Manager. I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings and sacrifices others give to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life. You are hired!”
As time passed, this young man worked very hard, treated those under his authority fairly, and received the respect of his subordinates. Every employee worked diligently and worked together as a team. The company’s performance improved tremendously.
LESSON: If we don’t understand and experience the difficulty it takes by our loved ones and others in our life to provide the comfort and care for our needs and support, we will never value it in the world we live in. It is important to experience and appreciate first-hand what others are dealing with in their lives and to respect the value of their hard work given freely and in love and caring, rather than only looking for compliments and/or monetary rewards.
- Author Unknown
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 ESV
Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV