A few times in your life, you meet someone who inspires you to become a better version of yourself.
A few days ago, in the Google office here in Singapore, celebrating the launch of his book 'Finding Happiness', I met just such a person - Wesley.
Just prior to his book launch, there had been media stories about Wesley and quite a bit of fanfare surrounding this event, especially on social media. Nevertheless, being intentionally blind to the large amounts of information bombarding my news feeds on social media, I would not have paid much attention to it if not for my contact with a friend - one of the many people who wanted to help Wesley. Through him, I got a chance to know a little bit more about Wesley, his book and this event.
It was also through this friend that I volunteered to help during the event - as a photographer.
Through my own eyes and the lens of my camera, I saw the many people who were brought together with a common cause - to become a support and help to Wesley and his wife.
During the book launch, Wesley thanked everyone for their help, especially those who had come beside him since many years before. At numerous times, many were moved, some to tears, at the stories that were related on stage.
Through the event, his story, and by observing him and his interactions with others, there is no doubt that Wesley is a man of immense grit and determination. He has a great sense of humour and a charming personality. Though he is not always able to express it easily, all you have to do is look into his eyes and see how they sparkle with a light that has helped him overcome so very many difficulties that, for a weaker man, would have been insurmountable.
I will not relate Wesley's story here. He does it incredibly well on his own and there is no need or place for my take on it. If you haven't read or heard his story, I strongly encourage you to. There are numerous articles and other forms of media already online about him.
Most of all, I encourage you to get a copy of his book. You can do so here:
Wesley, thank you for showing us that, with dedication and resolve, we, too, can cross hurdles that once seemed too high for us. Thank you for sharing your story with us, that we may learn compassion and how important it is to show love and be of assistance to others who are in need. Most of all, thank you for being you, that we are able to draw inspiration from you and your faith in God.