I met an amazing man today. Despite the insinuations from some of my facebook acquaintances, I find him amazing not in a romantic way, but rather that he puts into perspective the real world that I sometimes loose touch of in amongst debt crises’ and internet billionaires.
On Monday as I drove out of UCT, I saw him standing on the on ramp to the freeway hitch hiking. He looked a little out of place in a smart suit on a 35 degree day. I stopped to give him a lift and he told me his story.
That morning, it was now midday, he had got up at 2am and left home at 2h20. Home was Retreat in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. He had walked, yes walked along the main road, through town, Sea Point and then Clifton to Camps Bay and the Bay hotel for an interview to be their driver. He arrived on time for his interview at 7am. He was now on his way home and had walked as far as Rondebosch (about half way) before resorting to hitch hiking.
We chatted in the car and he told me that his family hadn’t eaten since Saturday and that he and his wife hadn’t eaten since Friday. He had been looking for a job since March last year (11 months ago). Clearly he was prepared to go to great lengths to stand out and to get a job. It really humbled me in that here was an older gentleman who hadn’t given up in the face of adversity.
He had worked out what he could do, what was possible, and he was out there doing it. He clearly didn’t have a lot of resources available to him, imagine if people with resources had his attitude.