How odd to see a version of yourself walking (or jumping) around in male form. This is the way I feel about my son who is currently working for a small start-up company in Cape Town named Virtual Mobile Technologies, founded by two South African brothers, Wilter and Arno du Toit.
As if some serendipitous encounter consumed us—on different continents during two separate eras—my past met with his present as he sought to define his future.
He is my kindred heart, although I suspect he did not know this until his quest to attend business school. During the application process, Josiah had to answer soul-searching questions that merged his heritage with his destiny.
Through this process of searching to understand his familial and spiritual roots, gratitude flowered. He expressed his thanks to me through a tribute written in the form of a MBA application essay, the entire content of which I cannot share until after the application process ends. Yet this line from the rough draft copy made me weep uncontrollably:
“At the time she was just a single mother doing her best to raise a family. She didn’t realize that during the process she taught me how to become a man.”
Yes, Josiah is a man, a lion-hearted man embarking upon his life’s quest. Fearless and determined, calculated and strategic, he embodies the spirit of youthful optimism that will change this world.
He reminds me to never forget my youthful ambitions to travel the world in search of bringing hope to those less fortunate.
The following is my email reply when he told me about the essay tribute:
“I can’t wait to read the final product. You mentioned it is quite personal and goes into some depth about your and my relationship. I think I’d better get some kleenex handy for a good cry. I will send you the link to the post I titled, “Imparting the spirit of Superman.” It is about our overcoming, you, Elya, and me. I love and miss you so much my chest aches, but I know you and Monique have walked into your destiny and for that, I will share your joy and not mull too much over my pain.
When I went through the links of the company you work for, especially the nonprofit, my heart soared. I could see you sitting at that table of innovators strategizing as to how you could help the people of Africa. Josiah, I am so proud of you!
When Justin and I watched “The Social Network,” about the founders of Facebook, we kept on saying, “Doesn’t that remind you of Josiah, Monique, and their friends?” You are the generation with the potential to change the world and I am delighted to sit in the grandstands and cheer you on!”
Although I have many kindred spirits who collaborate with me as I search for my destiny, there is one who is my kindred heart. This is a wonderful young man who walks on foreign soil and sends the spirit of adventure and altruism back to me with every word he pens and photo he shoots. Thank you son, for reminding me that there is a world larger than my worries, ambitions, or dreams.