Everyone has a story. 

I am stuck in the back of a car, driving from the Kruger National Park on my way to our family farm in the Eastern Cape. 
With one week of rest behind me and another ahead of me, I am content, happy and relaxed. Amazing what rest does! 
This past week I was reading a book about a journalist writing the last story of her mentor, who died of cancer. Her mentor only left her with a list of hundred names and she had no idea how they were connected and why they were important to write a story about. Only at the end of the book did the young journalist realise that her mentor left her with one last lesson. To tell the stories of ordinary people. 
The hundred people were not famous, wealthy or news worthy, but they all had a story of success, love, family, hurt and brokeness. As the journalist did interviews with them, she fell in love with each person and soon her empty life was filled with family. 
This made me think. So many times we get stuck on what we define as success. In my line of work, success is defined by being a famous photographer. We get so focussed on what to do next, ever improving ourselves, just to nodge our success bars higher. 
But do we really still see the person walking next to us in the process of our vision of success. Do we hear their stories and share their lives? 
A friend of mine recently moved from Pretoria to Cape Town for work. When I asked her if she is happy that she now lives in heaven, she agreed that she is happy to be in Cape Town, but somehow us Cape Townians don’t do life together. We are so busy with hip lifestyles, hopping from one restaurant to the next outdoor event, displaying the beauty of our surroundings on Instagram and Facebook, that we miss community. We operate on our own schedules and will quickly desert the one party to attend the next, without any respect for our hosts ,who went through all the trouble to plan the event that we just left. 
When asked what she sees as community, she said it is to be able to walk together through everything about life. 
You see when you define your own success  you can easily become judgmental on what others see as success. This is what the journalist discovered. Everyone has a story that is worthy to be told and celebrated. 
My husband is my hero in so many aspects. I am amazed at this man’s non judgemetal way of living. He has time and patience for every person around him. 
One day someone that is not very close to us wanted to buy a new car. We met the couple at a braai and soon Stoffel and the husband were in deep conversation about his desire to buy a car. Stoffel then helped him with his budget to be able to buy this car. The man was so excited and promised Stoffel to come show his new car when he bought it. 
Five days later he phoned Stoffel at his work and asked if he can quickly come and show Stoffel his new car. 
When Stoffel saw the car he realised that many of us will not consider this a new car, in fact we will not be impressed at all. But to this man it was his dream come true. And true to my man’s character,he celebrated his new friend’s success on his new car. 
Everone has a story. Let’s take time to listen and celebrate them where they are at. 

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