Friday, January 18, 2013
I had lunch today with an old friend/business colleague who I've known now for almost 30 years. Over these many years, we've fallen out of touch for long stretches at a time, but then always seem to find each other and reconnect again. Over the past year or two, we've tried to meet for lunch every 6 months or so; and it's amazing how easy it is to pick up right where we left off.
I had reached out to her a few weeks ago to schedule today's lunch as it had been a number of months since we had spoken. While it seems like I'm the one doing most of the "reaching out" for so many of my friends, the effort proves to be well worth it every single time. As I've written about many times, these get-togethers are where relationships are really deepened.
During today's lunch, I also had the opportunity to provide some useful feedback to my friend regarding some opportunities she was exploring. I enjoy playing the role of "sounding board" and seem to have a knack for helping people sort out issues in a way that provides them with some important insight and clarity. It's a pleasure to use that skill to help people.
I've often wished that I had a more tangible skill that I could employ on behalf of people. I hear about doctors going overseas and donating time to treat sick children on humanitarian mission trips. Or I hear about people who help their friends and neighbors build an addition or fix a leak. To be honest, I'm pretty useless on most of these tasks and doing virtually anything with my hands. My biggest skill tends to be my ability to bring clarity of thought to situations, a skill not often identified as critical to help people in developing nations. Nonetheless, I do take pleasure in being able to help someone like I did today. I suppose we all tend to overlook or under-appreciate the things that come most easily to us.