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There’s a hero inside all of us

I have a new hero in my life! I have known Samson for quite a while now, but little did I know that he would be the one to give me hope and a renewed sense of how we humans, collectively, can be stronger and braver than we ever thought.

Samson is my running coach and during our early morning run this past Saturday, we shared stories of our past. He told me that he used to be a child of the streets and, he relied on the kindness and open hearts of passersby and restaurant owners for food. Samson would often scrounge for food and clothes in rubbish bins and slept wherever he could find a safe space for the night. At eight years old, his parents could not afford to look after him, and I imagine how he put on his super-hero cape and made the streets his home.

Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s very often ordinary human beings who achieve great things. Heroes do need sidekicks though, and in my mind, this translates to the superpower we have as people when we pull together, support each other and give with our hearts and minds with love.

When I am struggling the most, I often get busy helping where I can. It makes me feel better. Gabi and I spent many happy hours together this month baking chocolate-chip biscuits and wrapping extra-stock Chartered gifts as donations to the health care workers and nurses. The theme of July is ‘Health and Wellness’ at Chartered – as a company, we are pulling together, helping each other and as many people as we can through this difficult period. Helping others makes you feel good. It feels good to give back and know that even your smallest gesture can make a big difference.

Samson’s story is not unique. It’s one of many, if not thousands of stories out there. But Samson is unique. Against all odds, he managed not only to survive – but thrive! Today, he is a successful business person, a great running coach and an extraordinary human being. I was really touched by how grateful he was and still is for having the strength, the tenacity, and the help of many people to get him to where he is today. He has been the inspiration behind our outreach efforts to help the many homeless people in Rosebank find shelter and food.

Trying to get through this third wave of the pandemic as well as the current chaos in our country has been hard. And it’s because we’re tired; we are worn-out and depleted. I want to remind you that you too have a hero inside you – and if many heroes join together, they become unstoppable! Don’t journey alone, join forces with your friends, your family or colleagues. We are stronger together, and together we will get through this and make a difference while we’re at it.

There is no better tonic than giving back. Think of the many ways you can make someone else’s life better. I’ve started adding extra toiletries to my shopping trolley for donation to the homeless. Perhaps you can support your local restaurant or corner shop, even if you don’t feel like takeaways. Or call a friend, someone who may need a listening ear. Nelson Mandela reminded us that no matter how small your actions, you can change the world for the better. Why not dedicate your 67 minutes this July giving back to the world around you?

I would love to hear how you celebrated giving back this month.

Until then, stay safe and ‘may the force be with you’,

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