Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way

Last night I attended an event for the low-income beneficiaries of services provided by a non-profit I volunteer with. I was thanked in the brochure they handed out to everyone and one of the beneficiaries thanked me publicly in her speech. That itself was enough to make my day, especially since I’ve been feeling underappreciated and underutilized at work lately. During the reception after the ceremony, I was speaking in Spanish to some of the people I knew and I met a Hispanic man I hadn’t met before, who has hopes of opening a day care. He looked at me questioningly when I started to speak to him in Spanish.

“What are you?” he asked. “Do you speak English?”

I told him that I speak English, but that I love Spanish and speak only in Spanish to my son. He seemed surprised and relieved.

“Thank you,” he said. “It’s not often I come across Caucasian people who speak our language and who want to help us to move ahead.”

He made my day for the second time that day.

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