Archive - September, 2013

We see them as we are

We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are. -The Talmud.

I read that yesterday morning in Brian Solis’ latest book. The wisdom in this simple statement has been something I have been reflecting on a lot lately. We don’t see things, people, events the same way as we would have a year ago or even a week ago. We were different people then. Our perspectives, intuitions, interpretations are always changing as we change.

oldhandsThere is a scene I love in Robert Redford’s film and adaptation of Norman Maclean’s book A River Runs through it. Norman in his sage years is on his beloved Big Black Foot struggling to tie a fly on his line. The film begins with this scene and sets the stage for the whole story.

“Long ago, when I was a young man, my father said to me, “Norman, you like to write stories.” And I said “Yes, I do.”

Then he said, “Someday, when you’re ready you might tell our family story. Only then will you understand what happened and why.”

The people we meet and the experiences we have are going to be far from things we completely understand today. But that is ok. The pressure is off. Really we just need to be present in the moment. It doesn’t mean we can stop learning and growing. It just means that there is always more than we can ever imagine still to be discovered in those around us. And that is pretty exciting. Like Norman, some day we will understand. Until then we get to dig in and explore. Who will you look at differently knowing there is way more to them than you could ever imagine….today?

Orange Juice and Coffee

It is interesting what makes us think of friends. This morning I sat down in Mel’s Dinner in the South of Market area of San Francisco. I ordered an orange juice and coffee. When it arrived I just looked at it and instantly thought of my friend C.C. Chapman.

You see, he once in a while posts pics of his own breakfast (orange juice and coffee). And it has become something that makes me smile when I see his posts. We all have our habits, little things that make our actions our own or a trademarked look. Often it takes some noticing to see them in others. But seeing sets us apart from many people (I think a majority).

When we pay attention we can easily see the things that make a person unique, one of a kind. It makes our connections rich and abundant. Take some time today and watch your friends. Take a few mental notes on the things you see. Then watch for things that bring that person to mind. It will make you smile and look forward to the next time you see them.

First in line

This was a week of firsts for our family. Kristine became a high school teacher after a long career of k-8. Our kids started new grades. What really struck me was how well they all navigated the changes. Everyone came back with great stories. They also embraced the weeks events with an attitude of adventure. This has been a common theme lately for us. You can read more about that on our family blog. 

How often are you first in line during change? I naturally think of connecting with others. Are you the first to risk and help someone in need? Are you first to greet the new person at work? Do you go out of your way to shake someone’s hand or put your shyness aside and risk connecting with a stranger when thrown into a unfamiliar situation?

This summer I took this picture shown here. The little girl was first in line to play a scrappy game of baseball. She and her classmates had no idea how to play the game. That did not stop her from volunteering. I love the look on her face. Was she scared? Of course she was. But she was also very brave.