Tuesday, November 27, 2012
A Great Dinner
This may sound strange, but I had dinner tonight with one of Ben's professors from the University of Alabama. Let me try to explain how this happened.
Ben has gotten to know quite well an Alabama alum who teaches a leadership class that Ben has taken at school. The man is actually an attorney in Birmingham and teaches this class each semester as an adjunct professor. He's an excellent teacher, and an even better person, and he's become a big supporter of Ben over the past couple of years. I've gotten to know him mostly by e-mail and through Ben (and he's read my book twice!), though I've never met him in person. Knowing that I was going to be doing a talk in Birmingham, I reached out to see if he would be available for dinner. And that was this evening.
We had a great dinner and enjoyed a deep and enriching conversation. We talked about life and values and leadership and community and wisdom, among many other things. I think we both walked away feeling like we were better for the experience. I enjoy these kinds of conversations so much more than simply debating who's going to win a game or what the weather is like or what happened on a TV show. It's stimulating and enlightening.
As I've noted in previous posts, when I travel, I always try to connect with people I may know (even if only a little!) who live in the city to which I'm traveling. It takes effort and some coordination to make these connections. By the time this month is over, I will have visited with 8 different people in 4 different cities, none of whom I would have seen if I hadn't reached out to make it happen. These relationships that I've cultivated, maintained, and in some cases renewed, add a richness to life that's hard to define, but I know it's important. There are undoubtedly plenty of excuses for why we're too busy, or we're afraid the other person might be too busy. At the end of the day, though, if it's truly important, we need to make time and make it happen. I intend to keep doing just that.