What’s Your New Experience for Today?

Everyone is busy. So we tend to always follow our usual route when we go about doing things. Why? Because we’re familiar with the route and maybe its the fastest route between point A and point B. So we see the same things daily.

But what if we changed our route for today? Let’s say we change our lunch route today. Would you be exposed to new things?

Last summer I took a bus trip from one town to another. I would usually have a book with me to read on the bus. It was a small bus with about 20 people, most of them tourists. But for some reason, I refrained from closing myself to the world and started a conversation with the bloke sitting beside me. This is something I never do. I would rather be left alone in my little world. But for some unknown reason, I decided to open my mouth and talk, knowing very well that I could be rejected.

That was what I was afraid of – being rejected. We fear the other person would just shut us off. It happens. But another thing could also happen – they could respond in kind. Which is what my neighbour did – he talked back. Turns out he is a freelance programmer from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was in Perth for a non-profit charity event for kids.  He reminds me of Men at Work’s, Down Under song lyric of a 6-foot man full of muscles. And yes this giant does non-profit work. I wonder how he codes with his large stubby fingers. He started doing charity work when his girlfriend left him for a richer man. His only skill was programming. So he did what most of us would do – he applied to all the firms that paid their IT people decent salaries. But no one responded. And with unemployment being quite high in Brazil, the only companies or organizations that responded to him were the non-profit organization. Initially he rejected them and persevered with applying to other companies before his mother suggested he start with the non-profit companies and the rest is history.

He finally answered one of my question about non-profit organizations. I always thought that you worked in a non-profit organization for free. Turns out that I was wrong. You do get paid. You just don’t get paid high enough to buy a nice car. But they pay you enough to get something with 4 wheels.

He started out as their website programmer and soon became their IT guy and then became the person in charge of marketing and now he’s the vice-president! Can you imagine that – a vice president and he hardly looks a day above 30! And now he’s being courted by other companies in Rio to work for them.

I guess we will never know where the road less travelled will take us to.


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