Once upon a time I worked in research for a large healthcare organization. I wore a suit and analyzed data. One of my first assignments was a Driving Miss Daisy mission. I was selected to drive a visiting PhD from NYC to a dozen hospitals as he conducted one-on-one interviews with physicians. At the time I had no mobile phone, no GPS and I drove my parents hand-me-down blue Chevy, complete with six-figure mileage.
I vividly recall the route to the airport to retrieve Mr. PhD and the thoughts of unworthiness that danced in my head. It was the late 90’s after all and Wayne & Garth had given birth to the unworthy gesture. The initial awkward vibe soon dissolved and we spent two days canvasing southeastern Wisconsin. Our freeway conversations covered a range of topics. He had built his career analyzing “stories” so of course our conversations had depth and circled around connecting the dots of life and work.
His gift went beyond Shel Silverstein’s wise words: the real gift was the handwritten affirmations on the inside jacket from Mr. PhD. He explained how we are all connected and we can choose our impact on one another. A lesson I carry like an invisible tattoo. Impactful people deliver life lessons in the most spectacular ways. I never saw him again; but I will never forget. I also felt Stuart Smalley’s nurturing affirmation was somehow included in his conviction that my gifts have value. Click to this link to hear Stuart Smalley’s words wash over you.
I hope this flashback reminds you of encounters in your life. The small chapters where someone planted a seed, provided support and perhaps changed you or your path forever. And, perhaps you can recall a situation where you were that someone for another.
Chaos in the streets,
Lonely hearts bear lonely beats,
In a world carved with steel and stone.
Miscommunication leads to fear and hesitation,
And it won’t leave me alone.
But now in my tree,
I’m living free,
As any child would wanna be.