Patti Digh‘s post Write to them goes to the assumption many of us make that someone we don’t know personally would not respond to acknowledgement of how their work has inspired, touched or made a difference in our lives.
It reminded me of a friend’s story. Years ago, she attended a function. As the event commenced, she was invited to join the official table. She started chatting with the man next to her. Before too long, they were laughing and sharing stories about their children. Among other things they talked about the joy that small boys get from all manner of embarrassing things.
As the meal concluded, the guest of honour was invited to give his speech. My friend’s jaw dropped as she realised that she’d been speaking to the guest of honour, the head of state of a newly emerging country.
After he returned to his seat, he said to my friend, “You didn’t know who I was, did you?” “No”. He smiled. “Would you have shared those stories with me if you had known?” “Probably not”, she responded honestly.
What is it that stops us connecting with people who’ve found some level of fame in their lives through their work? What are they missing from not having honest and regular conversations with others of us having the same human experiences?