Life has us so wrapped up these days, that spending just a couple of hours with interesting people, works like therapy.
As most of us, I am too busy to take time to meet people. In fact, I am just too busy. I have not taken time to give myself the glory of the day, or the blessings around me on a regular basis, or the appreciation of many who have taken time to care for me and be grateful for my presence in their lives. That’s why last Friday was particularly unusual, although when I had awoken to carry out my committed duties, I did not think so.
Feed the pets, clear my desk of odds and ends paper-wise, and then teach a college class. Finished at noon, I was then off to the Northern part of the state, unknown in my travels because I haven’t traveled much since my own near-fatal auto accident five years ago, and meet with a man who had willingly accepted my articles on his blogsite, writing being a passion I have been able to maintain after my crash. I love to write, so my interest in a publisher who had welcomed me to his area of influence had been peaked by kind correspondence and even a couple of kind notes from readers who had picked up my articles on this website. So I arranged to force myself to take the long drive and meet Han or Johan.
His presence didn’t disappoint me. He was a large man with a pleasant smile and an anticipation of comfort and the breaking of bread accompanied by an open and comforting conversation as to who we were and how our paths had brought us together at this point. Sometimes it is difficult, even discomforting to try to get to know someone, especially when you are brought to a point where you can’t say it yet not to appear rude, but you wish you could get out of there, back in your own car, and then to the comfort of your toys and distractions, away from these people you don’t really know or like.
But Han was not like that: He was genuinely glad to see me, and though we had never met, we had already known each other for years, as would rapidly become clear as we shared our “war” stories, one by one, many of which would come as we share the years together that were before us. (Avant Vue anyone??) We knew each other, and we had been there, and though our stories might differ in detail and action, their principal lessons and dealings with people were all the same. And we would laugh together as we agreed on the same conclusions that we knew were coming from whatever stories we would tell; that anonymous person we had to eliminate from their position; or that person we would have to elevate because of their proper attitude; or that person that we would work with and prep to take a position of supervision. Our stories were different, but there was an emotional union in our commonality. And we enjoyed each other’s fellowship as we laughed and even cried together, not outwardly, but in our hearts. And we had found a brother in action through the spinning of our lives.
If you were to ask me the best part of meeting Han, I would say the commonality of general experiences. Indeed, each of us is unique, but some of us wear our uniqueness as a badge of honor, and pretend we have been where no man has gone before. Well, Han has, but he doesn’t display the badge, he wears it in his heart. He has traveled the world, literally sailed the seas, flown planes, fought for our freedom and built companies. He has worked with all types of people, and where he has seen a need, he has worked at building where others tear down. He believes in fairness, proper development, a good drink and a good joke shared with equal happiness to all present, regardless of background, belief, upbringing, gender or race. He knows how to tell a good story, and he knows one when he hears or reads it. He has a great time sharing, and a great time listening. He doesn’t want to waste his time with a poor story, but he always has time for a good one, regardless of what he is doing, whether it be funny, sad, inspirational or factual.