I was talking. Explaining how a system is working while I was at the church's bookends... at the side of my eyes, I could see them coming. Boys in blue. They are from the Boys' Brigade. They are walking around asking for donations. Theophilus also have such an experience a few months back - raising funds for Pei Hwa Pres. Pri. I often felt such fund raising is a good chance for them to train up their courage and toughen their resilience to rejection. While the organization gain in the funds, the volunteer gains something else... but not many people see it that way. For one thing - we don't enjoy rejections. We see it as a setbacks.
So, three of them came to me to ask for donations - two at first.
"Excuse me, can you help us in the donation?"
"Excuse me, can you donate six dollars?"
Errr.... if I give you six dollars, can you each get a book at the cost of $1 each? - I twisted it to be a business proposition. I often like to make opportunities as learning lessons. They gain donation, while I gain sale. At the end, they get their donation card done up - I could only see the up side on their end.
Nope, they didn't bite. To them this is not a good duel. I am left somewhat puzzled. I explained my business proposition in greater detail and explain their up-side. ... Nope, it is not biting. Nothing to loose on their end, why did they not do it (at least for the fun of it?) Perhaps, it is our culture? - we take and don't give back. We take everything from the society and does not give back anything. Perhaps, business ideas is too abstract an idea for them, they are ... perhaps 10 years old? Well, I must have overestimated the age which these things can be understood and taught.
Just when I was about to exhaust myself in explanation, the third boy came forward. He is a little cubby Indian boy. He said: "Excuse me, sir. Can you invest $6 in me?"
Boy! He strike a note in me immediately. I took out a $10 bill and smiled at him. To that, I responded:
"Yes! I would. Because I believe in people. I believe in investing in people. Not organization. Not groups. I believe in you and I want to invest in you."
Yes, I believe in people. I invest in people. Not things. Not groups. Not organization. Not property. Not stocks. Not shares. Only people. It is a risky business. Unlike gold, people change. But perhaps, it is also because of this .... that's why I invest in people! Change does not necessarily lead to decay. We can improve for the better.
I felt good the whole day. I walked away feeling satisfied. I have planted my $10 well into the heart of this little boy. As he walks away (I was the first person who signed on his donation card, and the one who gave the largest amount marked on the card), I reminded him: I only invest in people. I invest in you because I believe in you.
He walked away feeling happy, bewildered.... but happy.
Perhaps, he will understand this lesson when he is older. Perhaps, he might also be an investor. I pray that he will invest well.
I hope I will have the chance to teach Theophilus on this lesson on investing. Investment in people.