While in Florida doing the spring training thing, I met one of my college roommate’s fellow ushers at the Washington Nationals ballpark in Viera. This is a new acquaintance for my longstanding friend Susan and as the three of us were having lunch the usher mentioned she had worked in Germany for 30 years as a school nurse in the DOD school system for military dependents. Oh, I had lived in Germany as a kid, I said. I remembered it fondly, particularly my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Fisher, whom I consider the best teacher I ever had. Mrs. Fisher was a Japanese-American and the only other fact I remembered about her personally was that she liked Lana Turner movies.
Susan’s fellow usher said: Mrs. Fisher!! One of my best friends in Germany was a Mrs. Fisher who was a Japanese-American. She had retired and was now living in Chicago.
Could it be? Yes, it could be. I now have Mrs. Fisher’s email and will send her a note reintroducing myself. I hope she remembers me from 44 years ago.
And I got to thinking about the incredibly strange, surprising, scary, and yet at at times incredibly uplifting journey life can be. Of course this is just some 1 in a trillion coincidence. No matter that the previous day I had been thinking about what metric I should employ to decide among the options available to me in my second life. And I had decided, I should choose the option which offers me the greatest opportunity to learn. Nah…it is just a coincidence, I’m sure.
But I’m reminded of the great book I read more than ten years ago, Leadership and the New Science by Meg Wheatley. If you check her website you learn it is now in its third edition. One of the most inspirational statements I ever encountered came from that book’s first edition. In the epilogue, it used to say, but now I think it has been rewritten, that we should live our lives in confidence, knowing each step we take brings us closer to understanding the meaning of our lives.
If I were spiritual, I would say most certainly that was not a coincidence, but a sign. Okay, I am spiritual, and I do believe that your encounter was NOT a coincidence, but a message. And the message is not to buy every lana turner movie on your netflix list (although that might make a fun weekend marathon, all those On the Road movies)…
But rather, to consider wisely and slowly, your next decision. We are blessed in that we can afford to make choices, but you, with all your talents, also have a responsibility to choose for your next career, a job that will allow you to spread your innovative thinking and spirit far and wide…