Does our dress sense truly describe who we are? Or perhaps it’s our facial expressions; our loud voices when we speak, or even who we hang out with? You tell me!
Uncle Glen is an entrepreneur of a business that is not envisioned to be featured in any business column, as it doesn’t make billions in profit. Many people refer to him as a street vendor, yes he is, because he sells cigarettes and snacks on a very busy corner and he ends up making friends with his regular customers. That’s one of the things he needs to do as a businessman to boost his sales: attract new customers as well as keep his clientele highly pleased so that they keep coming back.
Personally, he is a good man, striving to make ends meet and professionally pushing his business to become a success. He has a child with a beautiful lady, who genuinely loves him for who he is. Pity the same can’t be said about the people he resides with, or those from his lover’s family, his customers or random passers-by.
Let us start with how people in his neighbourhood view him. He rents a small room and just goes there to sleep because he is always on his corner, pushing hard for himself and his family. They never get a chance to socialize with him, hence they don’t know exactly what kind of a person he is. They think of him as someone who thinks he is better than them, because he greets and passes with a somewhat serious face. He seems unfriendly to them, but is he, really?
His family accepts and supports his business venture. I wish I could say the same about his baby’s mama’s family. To them, Glen is just a broke chancer with no future, to put it mildly. Their definition of a respectable groom is successful, beautifully dressed in expensive suits and a smelling-of-cologne type of guy and what they see from our Glen is the total opposite of what they know, expect or believe.
As we know, thousands of people pass street vendors on every corner and there are a lot of reasons why some buy and others don’t. Allow me to touch on one reason per scenario: some people buy because of pity and end up leaving behind small change and some people don’t buy because they prefer, or are used to, buying somewhere else. So, I think random passers-by don’t take him into account. However, his regular customers like his loud voice, bubbly personality that he shows every morning, noon and evening as they pass by his corner.
In some places, street vendors are seen as a threat to the economic growth and as a result, police are ordered to take their stock away from them. Sometimes, because the streets are dirty and have a foul smell, they get sick from inhaling the smells near their corner and security reasons like stock vanishing from store rooms for whatever reason hinder their success. Although some endure, others end up giving up. No business is for the weak, because at the end it is true that one reaps what one sows.
A few years later, Glen extends his parents’ home and buys himself a car. When those who belittled him saw the change of events, they raised their eyebrows and started being nice to him and giving him the respect necessary to show a little benevolence.
Is the power of humanity below the power of material belongings; our dress code? Does our image coincide with where we sleep, what we had for dinner? What will it take for people to learn that the difference between people is character? If clothing manufacturers stopped delivering and we were all to walk around naked and sleep on the grass with no houses, what is it then that one could use to judge another? You tell me!