This story is part of the Hidden Brain team’s My Unsung Hero series about people whose kindness left a lasting impression on someone else.
In the early 1990s, John Moe moved to Seattle to pursue his dream of becoming a writer or actor. Instead, he found himself working full-time in customer service for a software company.
“It wasn’t a fun thing,” Moe said.
And that’s because, at the same time, Moe was dealing with undiagnosed depression that devastated her confidence.
“So I just had this inherent belief that other people should do the cool stuff,” he said. “And I had to go get a job that I hated and work there until I died.”
His colleague, Jane, worked in human resources and thought Moe had a lot more potential than he gave himself credit for. She was also familiar with his other work in theater and comedy.
“And she said, ‘You don’t belong here. You are supposed to do something else. You should make a living by being creative,” John recalls.
Jane told Moe about a vacancy at her husband’s company that needed someone creative.
“And I said, ‘Oh, okay. So you want to know if I can think of someone creative? And she’s like, ‘No, no. I mean you,'” Moe said.
Moe not only got the job, he made a name for himself in the industry. Today he is a published writer with a new book titled The hilarious world of depression.
He is also the host of Depressant mode with John Moea mental health podcast that promises no shame or stigma.
He credits the pep talk Jane gave him, as well as the confidence she had in him when it was hard for her to see him for himself.
To this day, he makes sure to follow Jane’s lead by going out of his way to tell someone he’s good at something, especially if they don’t take credit for it.
“Because maybe they haven’t been told that often enough,” Moe said. “And that’s going to give them the confidence to take it to the next level…and they can say to somebody else at a later time, you know, ‘You’ve got that in you. You can do that.'”
To share your unsung hero’s story with the Hidden Brain team, record a voice memo on your phone and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.