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A large part of my job entails traveling to various domestic and international locations. Doing so affords me the opportunity to  meet people that I would never otherwise meet. This week, while returning from a trip to Orlando, I came upon having a random conversation with a stranger. This person turned out to be a family friend of one of my favorite raconteurs – Jean Shepherd. I will not bore you with all the details of his work, but those that are familiar with the US holiday classic A Christmas Story are familiar with his writing – a small part of what this individual contributed to radio, TV & books.

I spoke at length with this individual for darn near 2 hours, while he recounted stories from his childhood with Shep and the many pieces of history that I never knew. After our discussion, I had a renewed sense of compulsion to re-discover the many recordings of his work – not to mention a few books that I had never read. None of this would have happened if I did not take the chance to engage and converse with Murph.

What’s the point here?

The point is that meeting and conversing with individuals is a great way to find out things about them (yes I am being overtly obvious here). How this parallels in our personal and professional lives is that even though many of us spend more time with our co-workers/friends than our own families (in some cases) – we rarely know each other. Taking the time to learn from one another and then using that knowledge to form better interpersonal relationships can only serve to improve overall interactions.

There is something to be said about remembering that someone hates a certain food, cherishes certain days/events and/or avoids a certain subject due to some traumatic event. Whether you use that knowledge for good or evil…that’s up to you…

..make wise choices


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