Leading with Gratitude: Meet my friend Kenneth Kamyuka
During a recent trip to Toronto, I took an Uber in order to transport a load of groceries to my father’s home. My good-natured Uber driver, Kenneth, struck up a conversation as we drove. I asked him if he enjoyed being an Uber driver and responded happily:
“I love it. As a newcomer to this country, I find Canada full of opportunity for those willing to work hard.”
Kenneth went on to explain that he had immigrated from Uganda. He shared a story of his first arrival in Canada thirteen years earlier:
“You see, I was assigned a case manager to help me settle. The first time we met, she handed me a cheque for $730. I couldn’t believe it. That represented 3.2 million shillings. I asked her ‘when do I have to pay it back?’ and she said, ‘you don’t…we will give you a check like this each month until you find work’.”
Kenneth explained that he could not believe he received such a warm welcome, counting himself lucky to come to such a caring place. Hailed as one of Uganda’s top cricketeers, Kenneth later came to play on Canada’s national cricket team.
Kenneth was truly an unexpected spark of joy in the middle of a busy day. The conversation reminded me of the importance of moving slowly, taking the time to notice people, places and all things good around me. I was pleased to meet Kenneth, and proud of the manner in which Canada welcomed him. For all of those of you who have worked so hard to help maintain our freedoms, rights and privileges, my encounter with Kenneth served as a reminder of the power of gratitude in transforming lives.
Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong