☆News from BBTO Global Team☆






Little Acts of Kindness

By: Liz Agawa

We all have people we look up to: professors…athletes…leadership coaches…celebrities…philanthropists…book authors…friends.

Just like everyone, I have many such role models both for my private life and the workplace. But for the purpose of being concise, let me centre on one unsung hero whose small, random acts of kindness have kept me going even in some of my lowest moments.

Her name is Edith Colinayo, a co-instructor of mine.

When I was still applying for work at BBTO in October 2015, I recall sitting in a lobby seat, waiting for my name to be called by HR Manager Joan for an interview. Hearing everyone’s distinct American accents and vibrant personalities, my stomach was filled with butterflies and my hands suddenly went clammy.

These feelings, however, did not last long: In one of my demo lessons, the senior instructor who played the role of ‘student’ was a lady whose angelic curls and endearing smile put me at ease. “Hi!” she introduced herself. “My name is Edith.” From that time on, my nervousness melted away as I made a newfound acquaintance at this amazing language company I would become a part of.

About a week passed after my unforgettable final interview with BBTO Japan, and I found myself being ushered to a new station—and lo and behold, it was right beside Ms. Edith’s desk! With Ms. Edith as my seatmate there was no dull moment, because she always found something to cheer up others with: from current events to home cooked meals. Every day was filled with joy for me as my motherly seatmate cracked me up with her funny stories from home, and shared links of her best-loved TED videos.

Then, one day last May, I discovered that my wedding supposedly due in October that year (2016) would no longer push through. It was a very challenging time for me, as I tried my hardest to put my feelings aside and continue going to work. Good for me, I had friends to turn to during that time…and once again, one of them was Ms. Edith. She sympathized with me by lending a listening ear and dropping in inspirational books on my desk whenever she could. Her friendship and encouragement (as well as those of my family and support group) helped me overcome whatever heartbreak I was experiencing last year—just like a warm bowl of chicken soup never fails to ward off a common cold.

In the months that elapsed, I grew to respect and look up to people like Ms. Edith more and more…not only for the big gestures of friendship that they extended to me, but also for their little acts of kindness. Truly, I will always remember every lemonade, bowl of arroz caldo, and each “How are you doing?” That is because friends like my indomitable seatmate are hard to find, and their good deeds are gems that ought to be treasured in the heart.


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