Letter To Lydia

UntitledDear Lydia,

Congratulations on your new job – as WoodGreen’s Housing & Community Support Coordinator!

Although I’m a bit sad that we are no longer working together at WoodGreen’s Immigrant Services Unit, I know deep down in my heart that Jack Layton Senior Housing is a perfect workplace for you.  You have found your niche in coordinating activities for seniors.

People at the Immigrant Services Unit really miss you and won’t forget you.  We were so used to see your warm, smiling face every weekday morning as we walked into the office.  You were our endearing CSR (customer service representative), a very good one!   Your loving kindness, genuine desire to help people, and your gentle way of dealing with people, has earned you a lot of respect and popularity.   Even though you were working for the unit only as a temporary CSR (covering someone on maternity leave), your stellar work performance and positive attitude did make an impact on everyone whose life you had touched.

As an immigrant, you are a great role model for other newcomers to follow.  Your story is an immigrant success story – very inspiring!

As an immigrant, you have gone through many challenges, setbacks, heartaches, struggles…all of that.  As your friend, I know.  Life has never been easy for you, yet you never give up.  What always impresses me the most about you is your positive attitude towards life and your enthusiasm.

You love life – you live each day with curiosity and zealous energy!

You love work – regardless how big or small a role you play at the workplace, you do your work well and always put in 100 percent effort.  Before immigrating to Canada, you used to be an award-winning TV show producer in China; life in Canada has taught you to be humble, flexible, and not afraid to start all over; you graciously took on your role as a casual CSR at WoodGreen and treated your work seriously – never looking down on this so called “small” job title, and never took your duties lightly.

You treat people with utmost dignity and respect, and guess what?  What you put out is what you get back – the unconditional love you have shared with us has come back to you tenfold, just like the hundreds of beautiful paper-cut snowflakes you created during last year’s winter holiday season to decorate our office!

This reminds me of something like this: if you are true gold, you will shine no matter where you are; if you are real diamond, you will sparkle even if you are standing at a corner, amidst a pile of ashes.

If people ask you: “What is your secret for success as an immigrant?”  I’d think, your positive attitude is one of your greatest secret weapons!

Here are some famous attitude quotes I’d like to share with you and others who’s reading this post:

Charles R. Swindoll
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts…. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.”

Clement Stone
“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”

William James
“The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

Sasha Azevedo
“I certainly don’t regret my experiences because without them, I couldn’t imagine who or where I would be today. Life is an amazing gift to those who have overcome great obstacles, and attitude is everything!”

William Bennett
“There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes.”

Donald Walters
“Happiness is an attitude of mind, born of the simple determination to be happy under all outward circumstances.”

Anthony J. D’Angelo
“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”

Lydia, every time when I think of you, I instantly think of sunshine.  Your personality is just like your last name – SUN so warm, so bright, so wonderful.  Yes!  You deserve your last name alright; you totally own it!

All the best with your work, and when I turn 55+, I will join your program and participate in the FUN activities that you organize for seniors.  For now, I am still young, and you are still young.  So, let’s just focus on the present and enjoy each living moment, shall we?  We will have lots of time to talk about the future and contemplate about the future, later, much later…

See you around, Ms. Sunshine!

Your work buddy,


Teresa Tao

Group Activities Coordinator

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