I was just talking to a coach colleague of mine and told him about having a great day yesterday making connections with people. I spoke about meeting a friend for coffee, chatting to the owners of the coffee shop, and dinner with another friend.
What I realized in talking to him was that I had completely missed out a different event that also happened yesterday, and one that was a far more important connection. I met Rob.
Rob was sitting on a park bench, he was homeless and as I walked by he asked for some food. I did what I always did: shook my head apologetically and continued walking. But there was something about him that stayed with me, and when I got home I felt bad. I hesitated, then went back to see him.
I apologized for having dismissed him, asked what food he needed, and if he wanted a hot drink too as it was cold, even in the sunshine. Then I went shopping.
This connection that my mind had put aside was the one that taught me the most. What other important things am I not seeing? What else have I filtered out?
In my job I help my clients become aware of what they are not seeing, what their mind has simply filed away. In talking, they allow their thoughts to flow freely. And today I was reminded of how powerful that is.
I hope to see Rob again. Like with my clients, his story will be complicated. But he will have options. And seeing them will help him find his space in the world.