Street kids. Almost all countries in the world have them (except for Monaco, I suppose). My daughter and I had two encounters with them which somehow opened up my perspective on rejection, and in life in general.
Encounter #1: I pulled into a gasoline station to have my Lancer Evolution III gassed up (don’t be too impressed, I just jazzed that up. But really, it’s a Mitsubishi Lancer). I asked the gasoline attendant for a discount card, and I didn’t get rejected. So I sat in the car with my daughter waiting for my discount card, as the attendant did some paper work.
A boy street kid happens to walk by, and you guessed it, starts to beg for money. It is my philosophy not to give money to street kids and beggars. People work hard for their money. And some street kids are actually a part of some syndicate, hence if you really want to help, you can course your money to trusted institutions like He Cares Foundation. I waived him off, but he is so persistent. The attendant came back with my discount card and some paper work for me to sign, but the boy is still there incessantly saying – “Kuya pahingi ng barya pangkain lang. (Please give me some coins for food)”. He literally is fighting for real estate space with the attendant at the side of my car. The attendant has been pushing him away but this little kid just won’t budge. And your feeling went from pity to being quite irritated. He is begging for money as if it is my responsibility to give.
I would be pulling off the gas station, but the kid’s hand is reaching through my window – I couldn’t close it, and he just won’t let go. I slowly drove off, but his hand is still there. I am starting to get upset and I told him to let go, lest we get ourselves into an accident but he ain’t budging. The gasoline attendant is berating him to no avail. And as I speed up, he finally let go and shouted out some expletives as we pulled out the station.
Encounter #2: While sitting in our car waiting for our roasted chicken, a girl street kid selling rags taps into my window. I ignored her, waived her off and made her an example to my daughter – “we are so blessed baby that you do not have to do selling in the streets just so we have food to eat”. Then my daughter asked back, “why does she have to sell? Doesn’t her parents provide for her?” “It’s either her parents don’t work or what her parents is making isn’t enough for them”, I answered.
As we were having our father-daughter conversation, the girl just won’t quit. Incessantly taps my window saying – “Kuya, pangkain lang po. (Sir, please buy so I can have food to eat.)” From pity my feelings toward her didn’t shift to irritation. From pity it turned to admiration – I really admired her persistence. She needs to get money for food, and the only way for her to get her money is to sell these rags. So I rolled down my window, “magkano ba yan? (how much is that?)” “Limang piso po (It’s five pesos sir)” So I pulled out a ten peso coin and bought from her 2 sets of rags.
My daughter turned to me and asked – “Don’t you give money to beggars?” “She was not begging, my child – she was selling”, I answered. “Yeah, I guess it is ok to buy from them, we also need to reward her for being so diligent.” And that my friends, is wisdom from my 9-year old.
So it got me thinking, as I am in direct sales, I can use some of that little girl’s attitude (I am referring to the street kid, not my daughter). We all have heard that the average sale takes place after 5 presentations – but majority of the people quit before that. Multinational corporations are spending millions of dollars in ads running their campaign in order to coax us to buy. We don’t go running to the mall to buy a product off the shelf just because we saw a commercial once. But since we are in the generation of instant gratification, some people quit instantly as soon as they hear the word no. No does not mean, never. No might mean not yet.
Come to think of it, life rejects you every time. Every time you want to enroll your kid to art classes but don’t have the money to get her in, life rejects you. Every time you wish to eat in a fancy restaurant but it isn’t within budget, life rejects you. And you have no choice but to eat in a fast food chain. Every time you look at your friends vacation photos in Facebook and you wish you can afford to go off on a holiday as well but cannot – life rejects you. So it’s either you get rejected by life or look for ways to reverse your situation. There are two kinds of money problems – lacking money and too much money. I am sure all of us prefer the latter.