Guest post by Ms. Harvey V. Chua, Makati, Manila, Philippines
(Note from Judy. I am an amateur photographer and a Facebook fan of Harvey’s husband, professional photographer John K. Chua. These wonderful people are involved many charities, including Visually Impaired Photographers. It’s difficult to pinpoint one organization or community because they are all over the place spreading love and laughter. When I read the following, I knew I wanted to have it as a guest post, because I know the truth of Harvey’s conclusion. This post is for everyone who has tried to help someone and in the end, wondered if their actions and words made any kind of an impression.)
Meeting a former Adphoto photographer: while Kathy, John G and I were walking towards Mother Care at the Fort, we chanced upon a former Adphoto employee whom I had not seen since he left, about five years ago. I could not believe how he reacted to seeing me. He hugged me for a long time, and if I had not wriggled my way out of his tight embrace, he would not have let go, and when he did, he was in tears. I was deeply touched.
Then he showed me pictures on his iPhone of his four-month old son. All I could say was, “Imagine that - you’re now a father! To think that you were a kid when we took you in!” He was a student at La Salle, taking up computer science when he came to do OJT, and after the program, he refused to go back to school, and pleaded with us to hire him as an assistant. We did. When he was with us, he devoured all that John shared about photography.
John never withholds when he teaches an apprentice, so this young man learned a lot. But the lessons that I tried to impart - on the business side, on marketing, on developing presentation and negotiation skills were lost on him - like many photographers, he was not interested.
He stayed with us a few years, maturing as a photographer. He is now on his own, and I can imagine that whenever he faced business challenges, he probably heard my voice in his head. I suppose those lessons remained dormant while he was with us, like data that is inputted into a computer but simply ignored, but now that he is not only a photographer but also a business person, he discovers that it was there -has always been there - for him to retrieve.
No lesson is really ever lost - when the right time comes, it will be used - this is what I love about teaching, and that was the affirmation that I received last night.