This afternoon, I made a friend. You might have seen him. He’s the guy who sits in the airport with his laptop fired up, intently looking at ….who only knows what. It’s the stories, though, told by the stickers on his laptop that grabbed my attention. There was the CC logo (creative commons), a WP (wordpress) logo, KSU (not MY Big XII alma mater, but in the same conference), and a few others…
Of particular note was a sticker with the image of a microphone built into it’s logo. As a professional speaker, I sat up and took notice. Below it, a website name. Silently, I eased my laptop out of its protective neoprene sleeve, connected to the internet (thanks to Boingo and Houston Hobby’s 45 minute free access), and typed the sites URL into my browser. First up, I noticed this project had extensive connection to Oklahoma…where I’d spend the 25 years prior to moving to Texas. I had seen enough and shut down my computer.
Next, I stood up and started walking…right up to the fellow with his laptop open. Smiling, I said hello, introduced myself, and said, “Okay..I saw the sticker, pulled up your website and want to know more about this project you’re working on.”
He smiled back, stating, “That is exactly why I wore this shirt today…hoping someone would ask.” The shirt had the same logo and website name I had seen on the sticker. We had a quick chat about the project, exchanged information, and as I rushed off to board my flight, I promised to follow up.
Writing this from the plane, I am excited. Right now, who knows if I’ll be a fit to help advance his project, but today I found a kindred spirit. I am passionate about the need for people to communicate in the pursuit of building stronger relationships. His project, which you can read about at www.StoryChasers.tv, seeks to connect people to the past through a creative collection of oral and video captured history.
The next time you notice a sticker, a logo, a website URL or just a friendly soul I encourage you to reach out. In a world where it seems everyone only wants to connect through social media outlets, I think you’ll find there is something still satisfying about a handshake and a conversation. Try it. You just might be surprised.
originally authored 3/30/2011- dsc