I am inspired today to share something personal, which I seldom do. Last week when I arrived at LaGuardia n NYC, I saw someone I knew waiting for his luggage. I had not seen hm on my flight, so I went over to tell him hello.
I’ve known this man for about 30 years – he was one of the higher-up CPAs on the board of the Texas Society of CPAs, where I worked from 1988-1995. I have been in many meetings with this man, calmed him down countless times when his anger got out of hand and even went on numerous liquor runs for hm when the volunteer group I managed wanted more spirits. For those who know about CPA societies, this was the MAP committee.
I was very afraid of this man. He was larger than life and I knew had a huge amount of influence with the organization. I was a still-green 20-something who had yet to figure out life and work. I watched every step I took. I chose my words carefully. When I got my pink slip due to “budget reasons,” I did not give him much thought at he time, but afterwards thought perhaps he had something to do with my demise.
I’ve moved on and could never have started my own business without the kick in the pants I got. I look back fondly at some of the friendships I made, both in staff and volunteers, but more than anything, I learned that there are many ways to solve a problem.
I summoned up my courage and went up to this man last week in baggage claim to say hello. It turns out the man had severely aged, was hunched over and hard of hearing. He wasn’t scary at all. Instead, I felt sorry for him. He knew who I was, but had virtually nothing to say to me.
Dumbfounded, I wished him well and walked away. I hold no animosity toward him. I only kept thinking that my fears weren’t fears at all. They were simply mysteries about what life had in store for me, my family and friends.