Life never ceases to fascinate me.
We are constantly reminded that man plans, God laughs, and it takes just the blink of an eye for even the most well structured day to go to hell in a handbasket.
Even if we harbor the illusion that we are in control, life shows us differently time and time again. It’s a mystery that we will never fully solve or understand, no matter how hard we try.
This afternoon I reflected upon an unlikely (virtual) friendship that has blossomed with a colleague. We’ve never met live, only through video meetings, and definitely struggled at the start (and then some) of our working relationship.
I’d say black, she’d say white. I’d go one direction, she’d go another. She’s an accuser, I’m a diffuser.
Yet here we are on this very day, two vastly different individuals who have a plethora of strong, and often opposing, personal views and opinions, who have worked through our differences and seen past our professional roles. Somehow, we found a connection and took our conversations to a social level, discovering a number of like personal interests and shared perspectives.
We’ve scheduled random 30-minute catch-up meetings to discuss life, covering such topics as ‘how has this pandemic year been for you?’ and ‘how do you find life balance with our remote work situation?’ to give you just two examples.
These video calls have led to gentle yet probing questions about the current political climate, civil unrest and racial tensions – and it’s these very topics that struck a chord with me today.
My colleague and I are strong in our convictions – yet open to discussion. We are fair in our thought process – listening to all viewpoints, opinions and experiences then evaluating and sharing appropriately.
There is no anger, no upset or any discord. We discuss and we reflect.
We are respectful and compassionate.
We are empathetic and understanding, recognizing that our viewpoints aren’t the only ones. Our opinions are just that, ours and ours alone, and our experiences are relevant to our lives – not the world at large.
As I smiled and disconnected from our call, savoring the moments when my spirit soared, my mind was satiated and my heart was full, I got to thinking.
Maybe, just maybe, if we stopped buying into the media hype and extremists who fuel the divide in our country, we could open the door to the kind of change that will truly build a beautiful future for us all – united.
Maybe if we open our minds, quiet the egos and take a moment to listen to another’s plight or the rational behind his or her viewpoints, we could step into their shoes and gain a better understanding of where they are coming from – and where they’ve been.
Maybe, if we look beyond our differences and care enough to harmonize our relationships with others – we could create the world that we say we want to live in.
I’m grateful to my colleague for yet another passionate and uplifting conversation today.
When we are willing to open our minds, we in turn open our hearts. It is then that we make room for the ultimate gifts in life – new experiences, new friendships and new perspectives.
And – the most unlikely of friendships that can become the best.