An Important Person

We Afghans have a Farsi proverb that says: Please teach how to cook fish, not how to eat fish.

When I think about one of the people who has been most important to me, I think of my close advisor — Jayne — and how she followed this proverb.

Jayne has light brown hair that shines like gold in the sun and she has a beautiful smile on her face. She always impressed me with her behavior, talent, and patience. She is a social woman, so all the women in our office loved her. She was my direct supervisor. I had a great time with her. She was intelligent and kind and loved to support everyone—men, women, youth, and children. She loves Afghans and is passionate about helping Afghan women.

She was calm and hard working, but after two or three hours, she told us to take a few minutes’ break. She told jokes and we all laughed. She was the senior person in our office and didn’t let anyone from other departments criticize our work. Instead she worked closely with us to improve our work and support her staff. I worked with her in the communication unit. The first thing I learned from her was how to proofread my work and how to edit. She tried her best to teach me how to do it instead of doing it herself.

For example, I was responsible for uploading our project’s photos to the website, but I didn’t know how. She showed me how to choose the best photos to reflect a good message of our program’s work. She taught me how to write a brief but informative caption for each photo and insert the exact date. When I learned how to upload I chose the best photos and inserted captions. When I showed them to her she asked me why I chose these photos and after she heard the reasons she praised me.

Even now she is my close advisor. Whenever I face difficulty, I email her and she tries her best to tell me how to do it.

The other important thing I learned from her is how to help others. Now when I see one of my colleagues facing some problem I try my best to help them. For example, when my colleagues want to apply for a scholarship but don’t know how to answer the questions, I help them fill out the application, asking them for their own ideas.

Through behavior and good endeavors, Jayne taught me new skills and how to try to support other women.

By Fariba

Photo (and recipe) of brook trout with morels and wild leeks by 40 Rivers to Freedom.


Comments

  1. There is an old saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Your story is a perfect example of one of the rare and valuable teachers who take the extra lengths to not show but really teach. This essay is a great tribute to her and I’m glad you got to have such a positive experience and outlook through her.

  2. People like Jayne are what make me believe humanity is headed in the right direction. Your philosophy and experience will help keep that spirit alive. The world needs great teachers, and I’m sure you’re well on your way to being one of them.

  3. Stories like this give me hope for the world. I always enjoy hearing about people who take the extra time to help other people learn rather than doing everything themselves. A teacher who really teaches is so rare today, and it makes me smile to know there are people who care enough to really want to help and teach other people. Your story should inspire people to really take the time to help each other and learn from each other. Thank you for sharing your experience of a good mentor and the effect she had on your life.

  4. Nicole A. D. says:

    Fariba, it really warms my heart to hear about your mentor. I think without people like her, we would all be lost. When I first started writing and taking pictures, I had a mentor and without him it would have been much harder. Because of her warmth and generosity, you will are able to mentor woman like you and help them find inner strength as well. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring other women like myself.

  5. Your story sheds light on the fact that we enjoy seeing the people around us succeed. Jayne’s ability to reach her hand out, make you laugh and support the progress you have asa person reveals her kind spirit. Your ability to help others just as you were helped reveals your kind spirit as well. I hope you continue to surround yourself with women who support and instill confidence in you! You’re a great writing and I loved the proverb you began your piece with. You hooked me in at the beginning and kept me until the last sentence. Please continue writing!

  6. This story exemplifies the power of helping one another. Thank you Fariba for sharing your mentoring experience from Jayne with us, it is incredibly uplifting and optimistic. It is crucial for people to have support and Jayne sounds like an amazing mentor. You are lucky to have her and your story made me think of those in my life I look to for influence and support when I need reassurance.

  7. Your story sheds light on the fact that we enjoy seeing the people around us succeed. Jayne’s ability to reach her hand out, make you laugh and support the progress you have as a person reveals her kind spirit. Your ability to help others just as you were helped reveals your kind spirit as well. I hope you continue to surround yourself with women who support and instill confidence in you! You’re a great writer and I loved the proverb you began your piece with. You hooked me in at the beginning and kept me until the last sentence. Please continue writing!

  8. This story is full of hope. Often, I hear so much of pain and sorrow but your words paint a clear picture that there is still good in the world. I am so glad you had such a great teacher that treated you so well. Through your writing, you are portrayed in such a great woman. Most of the stores shared on here are sad, however this is not. Thank you for sharing your story. It was pleasant to hear.

  9. test. please ignore.

  10. Maureen D says:

    Fariba, this was a very touching story. It is people like Jayne in the world that help us grow and then ultimately we are able to help others succeed ourselves. There is no greater gift than being a teacher, and I am sure that you are well on your way to becoming a great one too.

Speak Your Mind