A few days ago, I woke to a wonderful email from the buyer, Karen. The email contains a very moving story and I would love to share this with you.
(Permission granted by Karen)
To begin the story, I have to share with you how I came to accept the order. I have stopped accepting custom or MTO order for years now. I decided to take on this order and slot in to last bit of my term break. Karen was very sincere and polite in her emails, and I was convinced that the purple amigurumi donkey has a very significant meaning to her.
On receiving her donkey in the mail, she wrote to me. In the email, she shared generously with me that she is going through a very difficult and challenging phase in her life (I shall not divulge the details, out of respect of her privacy), she was beginning to indulge in self-pity, until her brother-in-law shared this story about the donkey with her:
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it… to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.
As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
MORAL : Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
At the end of the email, she wrote that the donkey doll is a constant reminder for her to never-ever give up. It brings a smile to her face every time she looks at it.
I am moved to tears. I take extreme pride in the work I do, every doll is special to me. I can never outsource my work, because it means so much more to me, as it may mean even more for the buyer.
This business has never been just a job to me. A friend analysed that if I hadn’t spent so much time on the packaging, insist in gaining perfection in each piece of product, obstinate about setting up a ‘mini factory’, I would be making more money. Yet, I chose to spend a great deal of time corresponding with buyers, and spending too much of my ‘expensive’ time in every details in the packaging and everything else.
Our life is passing through us very quickly. Everyday is a bonus, everyday is an opportunity to make a difference, everyday is a chance to add value and meaning to it. When I am too old to do much physical activities, I will be recounting my life experiences, this story that I am sharing today, is recorded now, and will replay as fond memory in my golden years.
Karen said thank you, it is I who owe her the gratitude and truly, the honor is all mine.
I hope you are inspired by this touching story and never give up even if you are in a dark place.