I remembered there was once when a burly man walked into my father’s bakery in response to his recruitment ad for a kitchen assistant to the baker. This man was well dressed and clean shaven. I recalled his soft-spoken tone as well as the way he hesitated to answer some of my father’s questions. What I could vividly remembered was that when I father asked him about his criminal record, he kept quiet – for a long time. Then he apologized and turned away to walk out. My father stopped him and patted him on his shoulder, telling him it was ok, just say it out. The burly man actually cried and then uttered slowly that he was an ex-convict. He had been in drugs for many years and he really wanted to start afresh – if the society would allow. He wanted to make up for what he had done and the suffering of embarrassment by his family over the few years.
My father told him, “If you do not mind, let’s begin your new life here.”
That was 17 years ago when Thomas walked into the shop to ask for a job. Today, he runs my father’s branch in Henry Park and built a small business into one of the most successful bakery in the vicinity.
Sometimes we just need that bit of faith in the others to create a miracle.