You are in debt

I remember this week a conversation that reminded me the importance of being grateful for what you have and where you are. In a world that is constantly pushing you to revolve about your next big thing or to benchmark with the folk next door, you may risk to neglect such an elemental attitude as staying grateful for what you are able to do today.

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A quick stop by a supermarket in a rural town while on vacation, for one reason or another I was wearing the corporate t-shirt with the small logo on it. It didn't go unnoticed for the young man serving as cashier. 

- Do you work there, sir? 

- Yes, I do. 

- Gee… I would love to work in a place like that someday. It is kind of my dream, You know? I love computers and I’d like to go to the capital and study something related. 

- If you really are into it you should definitely pursue that. Though you don’t have to go that far, you have the TEC or INA quite near. 

- Thanks, Sir! Here is your bill, have a nice day. 

- Good day for you too. Make sure you follow-up on that dream. I mean it. 

Let’s not mention right now the fact that I live in a Country that, despite its challenges and misadventures I usually complain about, allowed me such an answer for this young man. A fine university and a good technical school (both state run) with branches actually close to the rural place we were at. That in itself should be a motive of reflection and gratitude. 

Let’s mention that I feel good about the things that I have been able to achieve, but I don’t consider them particularly exceptional. I am not Bill Gates nor Linus Torvalds. I haven’t started my own business. I am not yet at the C-level of my company and I don’t have a PhD. So I am not really used to think that what I do for living could be an inspiration nor a dream for someone else. Yet that day I learned in the least expected place that it certainly was. 

Here is my point. Most of the time we are too busy thinking about tomorrow, the opportunities to come, the positions to pursue or the folks whose path we should follow. But we seldom take time to value today, the opportunities that took us here, and the folks who would like to follow our path. 

If you haven’t thought about it yet, I challenge you to do that today. 

Because your debt is not only with yourself, your family, your future opportunities or your own dreams. Your debt is also with the folks that would sincerely like to make it as far as you have in your path. Because whether you know it or not, you have both a chance and an obligation to inspire someone, most likely someone younger than you, every day. It comes with the journey.

- Sergio Calvo

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