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I had the privilege of interviewing someone yesterday. Someone whose childhood was marked by abandonment, abuse and neglect. Someone who coped by making bad choices as a result.

His story was heartbreaking and made me question…

No, it made me wrestle with the whys. Why do people treat other people so horribly? And not just other adults, but children. Children who need a better foundational start at life.

But to be honest, that’s not the part of his story that stuck with me.

What stood out was his gratefulness. For every time someone showed him kindness. Every time someone reached out to help him. Went out of their way to give him hope. Saw him, loved him for who he was, took action to make a difference in his life — and did it all without judging him.

His story reminded me of all the people in my life who were pivotal, who were catalysts in changing my life for the better. Most did not even know to what extent they impacted me, inspired me, motivated me to find purpose in my life by serving others.

His story reminded me how important it is to reach out and help others just because I’ve been helped. To pay it forward, to never forget where I came from, to stay humble and grateful.

It’s what brings out the best in humanity. Don’t you think?