After several profound connections with amazing people last week and an unexpected, delightful trip to Sydney with a brand new friend, I had a quiet weekend at home to reflect and be inspired. Lyndon and Ethan were away on a boys abseiling camp, so I wrote and wrote, then walked down to the river through thick, fresh green grass, and came home to write some more and watch a favourite movie…
The Blind Side… watch this movie (or even just the trailer, which reveals heaps) and consider what Michael Oher’s life could have been if not for a stranger reaching out to him on a cold night. Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) took this homeless teenager in perhaps “just for one night” and he became part of the family, and within a few years, an American Football star. True Story.
One of the most (of many) profound moments is when one of Leigh Anne’s friends says “honey you’re changing that boys life!” and Leigh Anne says, “No. He’s changing mine”
I’ve remembered a similar conversation with someone about a young man in Rwanda who asked me to mentor him a few years ago. He’s changed my world, my perspective on mentoring, my understanding of Rwanda and the rebuilding that goes on 20 years after the genocide that destroyed millions of families and communities across Africa. Our friendship continues and you’ll read more in the future of his story.
I’ve known this in other interactions I’ve had with people. We might reach out to help people, but the changes that occur in our own world can be at least as profound.
Every time I see that movie (I’ve lost count) that line “No. He’s changing mine” gets my eyes welling up again. I just really get it. I am so grateful for all the interactions with people, so many people, especially over the last 10, no, 20 years of purposeful difference-making. When I give, I am so richly blessed. In ways I don’t expect.
That’s what’s so beautiful about talking to strangers – making new connections. You never know what’s on the other side of a hello. It might just be a smile that lifts your day as you realise you’ve brightened someone elses.
You might change someone’s world – and they might just change yours.
I’m close to completion of my latest book DO Talk To Strangers – How To Connect Anywhere With Anyone. The thoughts are just getting deeper as I connect with people in all kinds of scenarios and observe what connects and what disconnects. It’s the little things that open and close doors more than we realise. Drop me a line if you have a story you’d like to share to inspire others to say hello – or if you remember how you and I met!
Cheering you on,
PS. Thank YOU for being in my world!!