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Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Tea Boy

Yesterday, when I went to the office pantry for my lunch, I happen to converse with our tea boy there. Taslim, is a 21 years old Bangladeshi, can speak English, knows computer, and with a sound understanding. Before I took my first bite, I posed to him a question that literally caught his attention that leads to this blog post.

“Why you didn’t pursue your college?” He looked at me, and with a timid smile asked in a typical Bangladeshi English, “Why you ask me?” “Well, I asked the same question over and over again to some of your fellows here. I recognize your abilities, as you know, one of my QA checker whom I trust is a Bangladeshi who is also very good like you” I replied. “So common, tell me your story while I am feeding my hungry stomach.”

It took for him a while to reply. Nodding his head in disappointment, and with a long breath he spoke sheepishly about his story. He said that it was his fault. That word ‘fault’ took us a few minutes before I finally comprehend because he had a hard time pronouncing it. He said it was his fault because he didn’t listen to his parents. He said that no one to be blame except him, and he is keeping that in his heart, and for that he feel sorry. We exchanged words about what happened, and exhorted him to share something about his life, and I’ll share some words and thoughts in a positive way.

“So what are your plans now? Do you intend to become a tea boy the rest of your life? You know, one day you’ll get married and will have kids. Do you think you can be able to send them to college someday by being a tea boy?”

“No” he said. “But what can I do?”

“Well, it’s up to you. It’s your decision to make, but I suggest you save money now, invest in education, get married and work in a good company. Through that way you will break the chain, and will have a good chance and your kids will have a better future. Remember that you are rearing a generation, and your decisions and the choices you will make today will greatly influence the kind of life they will live in the future. ” I answered.

He said that I was right. He said that instead of buying things and material stuffs that fades and wanes with the years, he should save money and take up a college or university degree.

Well, that’s his story. Amplify that to millions of others around the world. I am an education advocate. PEBA and KABLOGS along with the Thoughtskoto family and some generous donors are engaged in scholarship grants and sponsorship, making a difference in the life of a young person, that we believe will greatly impact the lives of the generations that will come after them.

It doesn’t matter who we are, where we are and what we are doing now, we have tremendous opportunities to learn, to improve, to succeed and to make a difference. We all have the capacity to change ourselves for the better. Small and seemingly simple ways we do everyday will become an asset in the future.

But most importantly, we OFW’s and Filipino’s in general are people who enjoy and savor every moment and yet even in the middle of laughter’s and joys, our minds reach back home. How are they doing? What do they eat? Do they feel hot right now that electricity is going on and off? Do they also enjoy? We save even the cheapest thing for our love ones back home. Masinop kumbaga, maalalahanin, mapagmahal. But the best that we can give to our kids and love ones are not material things. Education, and instilling right values, influencing for good and love unconditional will last.