Perspective distorts everything we see.
I’d just spent 5.5 hours in meetings (a new record) and was ending the flurry in the office of our company’s tech guru. Tucked off in the corner was a very small live edge table. It seemed misplaced, but as this office didn’t even have a desk, its placement was clearly intentional.
“That’s a pretty cool table” was a sincere comment on my part, as I still tried to place this table with this guy. Where I would have expected clear glass and steel, there was this piece of maple.
As he told me about buying it on Amazon, drilling the pilot holes, and assembling it himself…yes… there was pride and thoughtful intention here. Though I try not to judge people, I do it constantly, and here I was wrong.
He identified the sincerity behind my comment, and I was soon telling him how I had supplemented my Harvard Postdoc salary buying exotic wood in Western Maryland and selling it in Boston… all from my one-car garage space.
The wood of his table could be found in any uncut firewood pile, but it wasn’t firewood to him. He also seemed eager to learn more about wood and how to work with it, and I soon offered him free access to my pile of exotic wood and tools. He also smirked with a tinge of fear when I clarified, “I’ll provide the wood and the tools, but you will do the work.”
Will we ever get together? Past experience puts it at 50-50. Hopefully we will.
Even if we don’t, this is a good reminder to not judge people so quickly. We all have unique experiences and aspirations, and when I imagine a world where hopes and dreams are fostered, I smile. Today that is enough.