The Story of Me and Luis
Following the next semester of class, I registered. The first day of class arrived, and the professor explained, “I am assigning everyone a class partner. You need to get their phone number, and you are to hold your partner accountable.”
He continued to say: “If your partner is going to be late to class, you are to tell me when you walk through the door. If your partner doesn’t show up to class, you are going to find if they have a legitimate reason. If they don’t, you are to get them to class. Above all, it is your responsibility never to let a fellow classmate fail or quit.”
Before I even got to take a look around the classroom to see if I recognized anyone, the professor began to pair everyone up. Not knowing anybody in this class, I thought it was a great way to get acquainted with everyone.
So, of course, who did I get paired up with? Luis. Yes, Luis, the same weed fiend from last semester who did not want to be in college in the first place.
Luis was in charge of holding me responsible for my studies. Being on the get in and get out plan in college by double majoring and finishing a two-year college in one year was not me that I was worried about. It was being partnered for a whole semester with a bad influence and lost cause that had me the most concerned.
Luis taught me a lot, though, surprisingly.
Living in the desert, we had 120°F, and he would still be smiling and happy. Luis taught me that if you don’t like the way things are, change it. If you cannot change it, then you better learn how to enjoy it.
In the middle of the desert, there was a lot of open land. One day, we were driving to his house, and the city had installed a small piece of sidewalk. Luis got so excited about this.
He jumped while driving and said, “I love seeing progress, bro. No matter how little, I love to see people doing things and progress being made.”
This really goes to show that his character was if you don’t like the way things are, work hard for the way you want them to be.
Luis taught me to remember where you came from and give back while expecting nothing in return. Luis’ parents came to the USA from Mexico to give Luis and his two brothers a better opportunity in life.
Luis saved his paychecks that he earned in the USA to buy his parents a home in Mexico to give back what they had sacrificed for him to live a better life.
He turned out to be much different from what I had perceived initially.
Give Back and Expect Nothing in Return
One summer week was relentless. The heat would not let up. Being relatively new in town, I didn’t know many people.
It was 122°F outside, my air conditioning had broken, the tires on my bike melted, and I turned on the sink to get cold water only to be disappointed with hot water coming out.
I began having a heat stroke, throwing up violently, and I needed major help. I called the only person I knew and was talking to at the time, which was Luis.
When I called him, I told him I needed help. I needed him to take me to a store to get cold drinks and air conditioning.
He told me that he couldn’t because he was at work, but he knew someone who could. I ended up having to go to the hospital, but when I got out, there was a car in the hospital parking lot.
“Yo Nolan, Luis has been looking for you. Get in the car, I’ll take you home,” the man said.
On the outside, Luis gave me the impression that he was a trouble-making hood rat. But his actions proved otherwise entirely.
A few days later, Luis told me he wanted to show me something. He asked if he could pick me up from my house. I didn’t want anyone to know where I lived, but he had nearly saved my life, so I thought it was important and necessary.
He pulled up to my house, I got in his car, and we left. In the car, he began to tell me how much of a fool I was to get my health in such a poor, critical condition.
He knew that I knew no one out in India, so he was taking me to introduce me to everyone he knew. By the end of the day, I was well-connected with the town. I was quite popular, and everyone had the same message for me.
If I ever needed anything, I could just reach out to anyone of my new connections.
Moral of The Story
I want to conclude this story by talking about its importance and its moral.
Despite my original perception of Luis, this story is enough proof that you can’t base your ideas about someone just on their exterior self. You can’t base it on their words, but rather you have to base it on their actions.
I was one hundred percent confident I knew what type of person Luis was just by the way he talked in the classroom and what he spoke of.
But in reality, what it comes down it is what a person is willing to do for you.
Anyone can be all talk and no action, but Luis showed me that 1. Yes, he was definitely a talker but also 2. He was actually compassionate, caring, and proved himself as a “doer.”
When he spoke about the community, how he loved seeing progress, to smile in suffering, and what he wanted to do for his parents, it showed me that he really does take notice of the good in the world, and he’s not solely focused on the bad or negative.
It amazed me that someone I thought was so awful actually turned out to be one of my most loyal and caring friends.
If there’s anything to take away from this story, it’s never to base your opinions on someone about the way they talk or what they talk about. Wait until you see the other side of them – whether it’s outside of a school environment, testing to see if they are loyal, or discovering what goes on in their personal life.
It doesn’t matter what someone says or how they appear to be. What is most important is unearthing someone’s true values and beliefs behind the facade.
Look beneath their exterior and discover who they truly are – and who knows, you might even make a life-long friend out of it like I did.