Happy June 1, 2022 and Happy Hump Day. I created this site some time ago and yet this is the first post on my page. Mostly from fear, anxiety, stress, and who the heck is going to read this. My amazing wife suggested that I just write about something that is not about leadership directly, but more about helping all of you get to know what I am about a bit more; more about life.
Recently, my wife took me to Darlington to take in all three NASCAR races. It was my present for being around for 55 years. A pretty good present for me. We decided to make this an adventure and drive the 9 hours with our kayaks and find some places to paddle while we were there. We found a great place on the Pee Dee river to drop in that was unmarked and known mostly to the locals . While unloading our ‘yaks, a man, waiting for a friend, just struck up a conversation with us. He let us know the best direction to paddle and what to watch out for. He asked if we needed help and he was already in his boat getting ready to fish. We went up river about two miles, had some snacks and a beverage, and paddled back. On our return trip, another guy fishing asked if we saw the owl. He directed us back to this amazing, large owl, perched about ten feet above the water. The owl sat majestically, posing for my wife while she was taking some amazing pictures. I should clarify that for our paddling adventures, my wife takes a digital camera with her to help capture all the beauty and amazement that we discover. Cell phone cameras are nice and convenient but nothing beats a real camera, except perhaps a better real camera, I guess. Once we returned to where we dropped in, there were more strangers there, fishing and chatting us up, asking us about our experience and what did we see or find. Each person we spoke with was actually interested in our stories. Once we left South Carolina, we headed up through Tennessee to visit family and paddle on the Tennessee River. Where again, we ran in to strangers, interested in our story, as we were of theirs. It was an amazing ten days, 1800 plus miles of adventure. We had a big ol’ time, as they say.
As you read the above story, my wife and I have an imaginary place that we call Thompsonville (which I looked up and is a real place). In this make-believe utopian place, we care about only a few things for residency: Are you a good person? Are you kind? Are you genuine? It’s that simple! As you travel throughout your day, at home, around town, at work…..when you stop in to pick up lunch and a coffee, put your phone back in your pocket and use that time to take in someone’s story. Taking the time to get to know someone and show genuine interest, even for just a couple of minutes, can be the difference in that person, or yourself, having a great day or just a regular day. I approach meeting and talking with people I do not know without preconceived ideas. In turn, I am hopeful they do not have any preconceived ideas about myself. There is no personal history of some unjust act or previous conversation that did not go well. It frees me up to just be present in conversation, without all the cloudiness of any judgments. Perhaps, talking with people we know as if they are strangers provides us with a unique opportunity to really connect and be present at that moment. Find your river to paddle and take the time to talk and listen like strangers, even if you have history; you just may learn something new!
3 thoughts on “New Month, New Start”
I enjoyed reading your blog, Tommy T! Hopefully this will connect with folks who are worthy of Thompsonville.
Tom, you are such a good writer. Looking forward for more. If this blog is like your class, it’s going to be helpful, informative and educational. We can ask questions regarding our work life that can’t be asked at work. You always have an insightful answer. Thanks again Mr. Thompson and keep up the good work.
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Thank you so much for the kind words. I will look forward to more comments and feedback in the future. Stay well sir.