Sunday, August 21, 2011


I went into a corner drug store and thought I could quickly get just one item that I needed, pay for it and get on my way. Only two customers were ahead of me but the line was not moving. There seemed to be problems with the check that was written or the price of the merchandise. (I am surprised that there are people who still write checks to pay for purchases.) I decided to practice being patient and calmly waited for my turn. I looked around and saw the above card. It reads, "Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart. Eleanor Roosevelt".
I thought of my favorite reflection "Footprints in the Sand". It is about a person having a dream, in the dream he looked back at events in his life and how he thought God has abandoned him when he saw there was only one set of footprints in the sand during the lowest points in his life. Then God said, "You are my precious child. I never left you. The footprints you saw were mine, it was then that I carried you and protected you in my loving arms." As a person of faith, I am reminded of God's promise and that I should have complete trust in Him.

I thought of all the people who have been true friends, continued to walk with me, their kindness, encouragement and continued support, have given me the strength I needed during the difficult times in my life. I am grateful for my godmother, MC, whom I met in 1980 when I was a newly arrived refugee. I did not speak much English but we immediately bonded despite the language barrier. MC and her husband extended their love and assistance to my family without ever asking for anything in return.
I thought of RJS, my former employer in Holland, Michigan. RJS is a man of great character. He was the owner and president of the company. He was respected for treating employees fairly and bringing out the best in each person. I admired his strong leadership and down to earth manners. He once loaned $300 cash to a Flo-Coat operator to pay his rent. RJS told the employee to pay back $50 a week after he cashed his paycheck. Later RJS explained that he wanted to protect the dignity of the employee without anyone knew that he had to borrow the money. That was almost 16 years ago and that employee still works there. I don't think we would find another employer/boss like RJS.
We don't have enough men with character and leadership like RJS in business world. I have seen too many people in management that behaves with a complete lack of integrity, and refuse to hold themselves to higher standards. I have seen people who engaged in behaviors that are shameful and discriminatory, and those who looked the other way, just to prove that they have the power to make or break a person's life by taking away their employment.
Who are your true friends? How many people have left their footprints on your heart?

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