Monday, December 18, 2006

CHRISTMAS 2006



Let's give the right example to the young

This weekend I had a young visitor. He is a young man of twenty-one, born in Morocco but raised in the Dutch city of The Hague. His is not a life of privilige. His father died of cancer when he was eleven years of age. He still lives at home, even though he finds it difficult to get along with his mother. None of his two elder brothers take much interest in him. So, he is very much on his own. He hasn’t completed any significant education or training, yet he has to pay off a debt of more than ten thousand dollars for whatever little education he has had.

I offered him my assistance, just talking about the possibilities that he might pursue, i.e. a job or any kind of vocational training.

After the young man left, which he did rather in a hurry, I noted that I couldn’t find my cellphone. And it didn’t take me long to realize that this young man had snatched it away from my desk. Damn!

Thankfully, I had his number (I could of course have called 'myself'). I reached him, and yes, after a moment he admitted that he had taken my cellphone away, so he could sell it for some money and pay off an urgent debt. “You wouldn’t have given it to me, if I had asked.”

Eventually, he agreed to exchange my cellphone for the money he needed. I went to the place in the city where he would wait for me. When he stepped into my car, I gave him a long hard look and said: “You really got the wrong guy. I could have meant much more for you than the money in my hand!”

He apologized for having cheated me this way, but he didn’t see any other way to obtain the money. We then exchanged the cellphone and some 60 dollars.

I told him that I well understood his situation, and that in some way I didn’t really blame him for cheating me this way. What good examples in his life did this young man have to trust anyone for providing him with true help? None whatsoever. In his life, the only thing he understands is that if you see an opportunity, you grab it.

Our society if full of bad examples. And it seems as if even I have no choice but to stick to my own interests, because otherwise anyone – not just this young man – will grab what he can take from me.

Where do we start? Well, I will not turn my back to this young man. I will simply allow him a second chance.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Lyn en Willem said...

hi Theo,

prachtig verhaal en voorbeeld van hoe het is in de wereld, een jong mens die het vertrouwen in de mensheid nu al kwijt is en het gevoel heeft dat hij er alleen voorstaat. Mooi dat jij ziet wat velen niet willen of kunnen zien, dat je voorzichtig moet proberen om zo'n jonge man tot een ander inzicht te brengen, te laten zien dat er mensen zijn die wel degelijk te vertrouwen zijn en dat ook hij een mens kan zijn met kansen, wanneer hij ze durft te zien.
Prachtig dat je dit doet, ik vind het geweldig!
Veel liefs en een goede kerst,
Lyn

3:20 AM  
Blogger lyn said...

hi theo,

prachtig verhaal en voorbeeld van hoe het is in de wereld, een jong mens die het vertrouwen in de mensheid nu al kwijt is en het gevoel heeft dat hij er alleen voor staat. Mooi dat jij ziet wat velen niet willen of kunnen zien, dat je voorzichtig moet proberen om zo'n jonge man tot een ander inzicht te brengen, te laten zien dat er mensen zijn die wel degelijk te vertrouwen zijn en dat ook hij een mens kan zijn met kansen, wanneer hij ze durft te zien en te nemen..
Prachtig dat je dit doet, we vinden het geweldig!

Veel liefs en een goede kerst,
Willem en Lyn

3:26 AM  

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