I met Jacob the other day. He told me a story about his grandfather, Weldon Moffatt, who served in the Second World War as an aviation navigator and HAM radio operator. His grandfather completed 26 missions flying in Lancaster and Halifax bombers. During WWII, the method of communication was through Morris Code. Morris Code is a way of transmitting text information using a series of flashing lights, taps or clicks that can be understood by a skilled listener or observer. Jacob's grandfather is now 94 years old and teaching his two grandsons how to send Morris Code text messages using his original equipment.
We have come a long way in sending text messages. Or, have we? Today, we use our Smart phones and let them do the digital translating and we read the messages. Using Morris Code, the human receiver does the translating as well as understanding the message directly. If my Smart phone breaks down or runs out of battery power I wont be able to send my message, but Jacob will be able to tap or flash it out to a skilled listener. High fives to Jacob's grandfather who is passing on his wisdom to another generation.
Want to read more about Weldon, or Weldy as he was affectionally called by his crew mates http://www.thememoryproject.com/stories/586:weldon-moffatt/
George was sitting quietly at his desk, engaged in a few moments of meditation. He needed a bit of break from the difficult policy issue he was trying to resolve. He appeared serene and peaceful. George was interrupted when his colleague asked what he was doing. So George told him "he was spending a few moments in reflective meditation."
His colleague said, "I don't believe in that stuff, and in fact I don't believe there is a God."
Wow, George thought , what a heavy conversation to get into, but now is not the time. So he quickly explained to his colleague:
"I understand how you may feel, in fact I know many people who feel the same way. However I have a different point of view. As I see it, the workings of God are in the beauty of the sunset and the intricate expressions found in the our scenery, garden flowers and in all of nature. I see Him in the compassion that people show towards others in care facilities, to the homeless and to those less fortunate. I see Him when someone forgives another for a harm they have done. I see God in all the good that there is in the world, and I wonder if all of us contributed to the good of others whether more people would feel less angry, less selfish and less hatred towards each other."
George's colleague didn't respond, looked puzzled and walked out of his office.
The other day I had coffee with Emile. He is a kindly gentleman who has had many walks in life. One thing about Emile is that he keeps learning. You see, Emile is 87 years old. He told me that he never learned to read music. So at 76 he decided that it was time. He joined a fiddlers group, learned to read music and play the fiddle. He now jams once a week with his 35 member fiddler group and, from time to time they venture out into the community and entertain others. Oh yes, Emile also reads a lot and is very current with today's world events. So, here's to Emile and here is another short encounter that proves once again that you are never too old to keep on learning.
Julech is an interesting character who came to me one morning and asked,
"Do you know who I am?"
"No I don't, I never met you before," I responded.
"Really, are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure." Responding once again.
"Well, I am the person who journey's through life seeking wisdom. I'm every person, man, woman or child, who seeks the truth and searches their heart for peace, forgiveness and love and when they find it, they give what they have found to others at no charge."
"Wow!" I was awe struck.
"Can you tell me more?" I asked.
"Who are you?" Julech replied.
What a question, not "what are you?" or "What do you do?" but, "Who are you?"
I think we will be hearing more from Julech in the future.
Sandra dropped by the Insurance Agency to see Ken, her insurance agent. Sandra's husband recently passed away and he had a whole life insurance package. Sandra was distraught, still angry about her loss and shared her story about her loved one with Ken. Ken listened patiently, expressed understanding about her hurt, told her that he would expedite the insurance payment as quickly as possible, and upon Sandra's leaving put his arms around her as a sign of comfort. In times like this Ken said, "It's hard to listen to these stories and all I can do is put my arms around the individual to show a bit of compassion."
In our encounters with people it is not the big things that count, it is often the little things that make a difference. These occur in all manner of situations including at our places of work. It is during those moments when we are called to reach out.
I never met Bobby Kennedy, but I read that he said "Timing is everything." Once I tried to introduce a new product in my marketplace. It failed miserably. More work was required to prepare the marketplace for my new product. After two years of talking about the product to my clients, making public presentations and pointing to its utility in the workplace to anyone who would listen, I reintroduced it. This time the product was well received. Timing is everything, but sometimes we need to help the idea, product or whatever we want to introduce along. Other times, there are cultural changes taking place within the larger community that allows society to be open to different ideas. When Norman Jewison produced "In the Heat of the Night," starring Sydney Portier, he met Bobby Kennedy by chance before the movie was out for public consumption. Bobby told him that the movie should do well as "timing is everything." The movie was highly successful.
Sometimes we have no idea why a product catches on. However, I think it has something to do with relationships - a sense of wanting to have a relationship with another, even if it is inanimate. In my day it was the "Pet Rock," later, it was "Tickle Me Elmo," and today it is "Hatchimals." All of them had relational marketing strategies at a time when children - and adults for that matter - wanted to connect with something, anything. "Timing is everything."
I ran into Kevin the other day and asked him, "How are things going?" His response, "Everything is wonderful. The only issues I have I bring upon myself." Now that's taking ownership of one's doing. No blame here. When we think about his response -" the only issues I have I bring upon myself" - and apply it to our behavior we take ownership for our missteps, failings and faltering relationships. The colliery to "I bring it upon myself" is "What am I going to do about it?" And, that means correcting our mistakes, learning from experience and repairing relationships. First, comes awareness, second ownership, and third action for improvement. Thanks’ Kevin, for your response.
Not long ago I was returning from a meeting on the eighth floor of a high-rise office complex. I stepped into the elevator and pressed Main. On the seventh floor the elevator picked up another passenger. The passenger looked at me and said, "I know you." I was puzzled, as I couldn't remember her.
She explained: "About ten years ago at a conference we had a chat about my dream to publish a book of poetry. I was working full time back then but writing poetry was my passion. You advised me to keep writing and set a goal to publish my work."
She continued, "It's interesting we meet again in an elevator as after our meeting we took an elevator to another conference room. On that elevator were two young children. You said to them, "Remember this woman, someday she will be famous. She is writing a book of poetry.'"
By the time we reached the main floor, I recalled that first meeting. As we got off the elevator, she smiled and said, I just published my first book. A few days later I received a gift in the mail. It was the book, "Lyrics, Hopes and Dreams." by Tamara Campbell. A fitting title for a book which began with a dream, a bit of hope and a lot of poetry.
One would think that when someone experiences physical or emotional pain, gratitude would be last on their list of expressions. Yet, Margaret, who experiences physical pain daily with arthritis and other ailments gets up every morning with a smile on her face and is thankful for a new day. Of course she doesn't like the pain but she powers through it. With all her hurting she is still grateful for the blessings she receives and gives thanks for the things she can do on any given day.
An example an attitude of gratefulness in time of defeat occurred the other day when Hilary Clinton lost the election in the United States. She was expected to win over Donald Trump - all the experts and polls said so. It was an emotionally draining race to the finish, and a highly emotional loss to Hilary. Listen to her concession speech and count how many times she expressed a sense of gratitude, appreciation, and respect while being gripped in the jaws of defeat.
The lesson learned here is that it is not only the good things that we should be grateful for, but also when things don't go our way. When you are hurting in some way are you still grateful for your blessings? It's not always easy, but it does help us through the pain and the healing.
Don is a Security Guard for a large financial institution. He is a kind and cheerful soul and takes his responsibilities seriously. At night and sometimes during the day, homeless people often sleep in the entry way of the bank. Don kindly requests them to leave but often they do not. In such cases, he calls the Police Service for their assistance.
Don has often been struck by the compassionate way the police deal with the people on his door step. Many of the men and women in “Blue” get on their knees or sit with the individual to chat with them in a non-threatening way. In time, everyone gets up and they walk together down the street to a Homeless Shelter or some other safe place.
Can simple acts of kindness and compassion resolve situations without rancour and mistrust?