There’s still time to persuade Santa that you’ve been good!


If Santa can make an exception for someone like me, he can definitely do the same for you… Bare with me, I have a little story to tell you!

Last week was a mad rush at work. This is supposed to be my “quiet” patch but really, if you own your own business, you’ll know there’s no such thing. With that in mind, the clock struck 6pm on Friday evening and I decided to call it a day and wrap up the week.

My girlfriend and I were having some family over in a few minutes and I rushed to my local Spar to get one or two things we still needed. Flash Gordon would have been proud at the speed I rounded up the goods. I just needed to find the shortest queue to pay and I was a go go gadget champion.

After some Sherlock Holmes moves, I find a hidden teller right at the end with just one guy left to pay. He’s only got a handful of items and is presumably paying cash so I stick right in behind him. Score.

Round about now, I’m kinda daydreaming about that first beer I’m going to open, still chuffed that I found the shortest line and really just wanting to get out of this place ASAP but there’s some kinda holdup! There’s a dear old gentleman (let’s call him Jabu) trying to buy a loaf of bread, a litre of milk and a few loose end veggies but he’s having difficulty producing the required currency and he’s kinda asking the cashier for a helping hand but as you can imagine, she can’t do much.

He checks the next pocket and finds another few South African ZAR but the process is painfully slow. I’m in a proper hurry and I’m losing man points for being the loser that picked THAT line; there was obviously a reason why all of humanity had avoided this queue in the first place.

A million pushy thoughts cross my mind at this stage but almost instinctually I get a sudden impulse and I tell the gentleman to go. I’ll pay!


The old timer puts his hand out as bait before going in for the firm man hug and instantly makes me feel like a knobcheese for ever being so impatient in my head. He can’t stop thanking me for sparing “twenty rand something” and it dawns on me, he smells funny but this is the best feeling in the world.

Once he went in for a hug, he never let go!

On and on he went. He eventually left and I paid for his stuff as well as mine but the adrenalin stayed for a little while longer and the lesson for long after that. As I was walking out, I decided then and there that I was going to write this blog post and urge YOU to do more!

The lesson learned on Friday is that it takes two seconds and very little else to help someone in need. Take a look around you right now and see how blessed you truly are. You’re probably preparing to start your holidays somewhere and it’s silly season which means a lot of bucks are gonna be spent in the near future!

Take a second to help a brother out. Surprise someone, hug someone, I don’t care. And when you’re done, challenge someone else to do the same. We live in a world of massive technological advancements and our ability to spread a message of hope and giving has never been easier. Not is there a better time to do so.

Since Friday, the event mentioned above has really stuck with me and I thought it was worth sharing with you. It’s the Christmas season and it’s been a long year. If your brain is all over the show, I can’t think of a better way to release the pressure than to help someone out, especially when they’re not expecting it.

If you really do help someone and you manage to “pay it forward”, I promise it’s the best Christmas present you can give to yourself. OK that and a 55-inch LED 3D TV that makes you coffee in the morning. But you get where I’m going with this…

Give me a hand by giving someone else a hand and pushing another to do the same. You won’t regret it!

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About the author: Mark Sham

Mark Sham

NOT the boy next door. Entrepreneur at heart with a marketing background and a love for social media. Owner of Vivid Marketing!

1 comment

  1. Marty Sim says:

    Mark you legend!! I can relate to this post so intently especially since it bought back that nostalgic feeling of ‘doing some good’ that I experienced when I did a similar thing about 2 month back…
    I went away with a couple friends to one of my mates family holiday house’s in Hazyview in September. We needed some supplies so upon arrival we quickly zipped to the local Spar not too far from the Paul Kruger gate at Kruger Park. After doing our shop and paying for our goods we realised we had forgotten one or two things. I decided I’d go back in and get what we had forgotten whilst the others zipped off to the bottle store to get our booze. As packed to the brim as the Spar was, mostly with people of colour(not sure how else I should phrase it) and with it it almost feeling as if I was in a taxi rank within the shop, I got the supplies and got myself to the front of the line fairly quickly at one of those quick exit till points(you know the ones where you go to if you only buying some bread or some cigarettes etc). As i got to the front, a que of 3 people had gathered behind me, and for some reason the box of cherry cigars which I intended to buy weren’t ringing up on the register. After some time they eventually got it rung up and by this stage I was feeling rather bad for those 3 gents who were behind me because somehow I had managed to turn the quick till into a slow one and in all honesty they probably would of been better off at one of the other normal tills. To now cut a long story short I told them to add their items to mine and I’ll pay for it. Let me tell you the look on their faces went from suicidal misery to smiles as big as those you’d expect to see on someone who just won the lottery…
    I walked out of there pretty chuffed I must say, I did good I told myself. A small deed of an extra R100 odd rand can really go a long way. We should all do good things without expecting to feel good about it, the care for others should come naturally, but a little bit of as you say ‘adrenaline’ never harmed anyone… Nice post Marko, keep it up boii!!

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