This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the wedding of a dear friend with my wife. It was the first time I had ever been to Canoe restaurant and it was impressive.
Not only the view but the food, the ambience and the other guests at our table. It was for the wedding of my friend Le Quan and her (now husband) Niels. I had worked with Le Quan for many years at Sears in digital and online group and she is a dear friend of our family.
The wedding was special for many reasons as it celebrated a mix of cultures (Chinese, Canadian, Dutch) but also the speeches. Now with many weddings the speeches can be hit or miss. And if you have attended enough of them you might get jaded or cynical. I take a different approach as it reminds me of how fortunate I am but I digress.
At one point, Le Quan's father Mr. Truong got up to speak and he gave a simple and humble speech. What was powerful was that Le Quan's family moved to Canada many decades ago as refugees and boat people from Vietnam with nothing to their names. Le Quan's parents quietly worked hard to make a better life for them and their children.
As I sat and listened to Mr. Truong it struck me that a man who came to Canada on a boat many decades ago was now celebrating the wedding of his daughter in one the most elite restaurants in the city (or country for that matter) looking down at the water on Lake Ontario and the CN Tower right across from us. It was a poignant moment.
As marketers and business leaders we think our lives are difficult but sometimes a little perspective is important. We tend to take things for granted, we tend to get complacent and we tend to complain sometimes. I am just as guilty of this as anyone else.
For those of us in this industry (client side or agency side) like Le Quan, her incredible husband Niels, myself and others at our wedding table we are privileged compared to the lives of others.
Later I sought out Mr. Truong during the wedding reception to congratulate him and thank him for a wonderful speech he gave for his daughter. I told him that I hoped that one day I could achieve as much as he did for my own children.
Mr. Truong graciously shook my hand and brought me close and whispered to me: "Work hard and work honestly for your children. And everything you desire will happen."