One thing that Jamie Sams teaches (and I think a lot of other philosophers teach this as well) is that during our own particular journeys in life, we meet people as we’re supposed to meet them – as we need their help. They might not have any idea that they are helping us in that regard, and indeed, if the lesson we have to learn is unpleasant we might not think of it as very helpful either. But if you start thinking about it, we all seem to happen upon new friends or new enemies at just the right moment in life. Similarly, we weave in and out of other peoples’ lives to help them with their lessons. All we can do is hope that we serve everyone well. Since we don’t even know what it is we’re supposed to do, this can be a lot to live up to, but I think it’s possible.
Have I ever noticed that I met people when I was supposed to? Yes, actually. When I was going through the hardest time in my life, I was a bit loose-lipped about some of the health stuff I was enduring at the time. There was one friend in particular who I really felt deserved an explanation for my clearly crazy behavior, so I opted to write one of those confessional emails that you kind of wish you could pull back as soon as you hit send. A few hours later I checked my email and guess what? They had an almost identical issue. From that point until we sort of drifted away from each other, there was an unspoken undercurrent to our friendship. We didn’t have to talk about it or ask how the other was doing. It was just an understanding. At that time, when I felt quite isolated, that person helped fill a giant hole.
In the online world over just the last two years (how is that POSSIBLE?) I have met all kinds of people just at the right time. I learn from these people every day, it seems like, and I can only hope that I serve the same purpose for other people. I hope I can offer guidance by example like Gini Dietrich does for me. I hope I can offer good counsel like Sam Parrotto, Sherree Worrell, and Jill Manty do. Folks like Geoff Livingston, Danny Brown, and Olivier Blanchard have shown me how to hold your own in the online world and be sure of yourself – most certainly needed that after my first year online. Ken Mueller , Jack Steiner and Bill Dorman have shown me how to mix great wisdom with great humor. Lily Zjac, Ellen Bremen, and Brian Vickery all helped me on my running journey just at the right time. And there are people who have taught me lessons the hard way too (oddly I’m not going to name them), but those lessons were valuable. Painful, but valuable. I might even say necessary.
I hope that I have come into your life at a good time if you read here regularly. I hope that you have met people who taught you happy lessons more often than you met people who taught you lessons the hard way. But I want you to give some thought to the people who are woven into your life. What lessons have they taught you? What might you have taught them?
It’s a good way to remember that we are all connected like puddles in a pond, for better or worse. What we do makes an impact. We can only choose to make that impact for good or for ill.
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/frikjan/6974032035/ via Creative Commons