Where To Find Interesting People
Some years ago, I had the privilege of being taught a few life lessons by the most unassuming person I have ever met.
At the time, I was still involved in child education when we were all called in to come and meet our administrative manager, known to me only by his first name, Sean.
Now Sean was a middle-aged man. Short and respectably dressed, a retired teacher of some 40 odd years. He had a pleasant smile as the moderator introduced him and he stood up gently, unassumingly from his chair, straightening his glasses and his tie.
I couldn't help but notice how much he resembled the actor, Robin Williams, in his entire demeanour. Kind, gentle, intriguing.
What I didn't know about Sean, was that which I wasn't prepared to see.
As he greeted us, he quietly reached inside his blazer pocket and pulled out a rather old copy of the works of philosopher, Kahlil Gibran.
He took his time to find his spot between multicoloured tictacs and then looked at us over his glasses for just a few moments before bringing his gaze back to his little paperback.
He read to us "about children" Those of you familiar with his work, would know the kind of intensity this philosopher could speak with. Unknown wisdom.
I knew in an instant that the depth of this man could not be touched in a single session.
He had a strange connectedness about him, a mysterious kind of calm that pulled in the bunch of agitated teachers in a moment, bringing them to quietness and instant respect.
You see, interesting people come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life really. Sean was one of them. It was in his composure, just being...it was in his quiet words, just being.. it was in the level of his vibration, inside himself, just being...
I learnt something different that day.
Anyone could throw us with papers and make us learn because that's what the industry demands of us, and we would have passed and walked away from the same way we came.
But it was his contagious love for children, his simplicity in expressing what it is they need, that lasted well after the lecture.
At some point, after reading, he asked us a meaningful question..about what it is that every human being has as an existential common factor.
We were so stunned by his beautiful, expressive reading that it took us a few moments to realise he had actually wanted an answer.
It was an answer posed in such a way that it demanded a thoughtful, conscious answer, and so we all exchanged a few ideas on what this common factor was. Was it to love and be loved? Was it to have a purpose?
Sean stood quietly smiling as we started giving answers to the most profound question out there. He nodded and appreciated the many meanings and opinions.
He then put his hand over his chest and said, the one common factor we all share, is wanting to "belong".
Silence fell again as we absorbed into a new meaning to this simple word. In the way he uttered it, the depth and angle and purpose of the word had instantaneously risen to unexpected new dimensions.
In the days after the lecture, back at school, I contemplated over and over again in my mind the wisdom which such a seemingly simple soul had brought home to the teachers..and about. Belonging.
It pained me to realise that what we imposed on children, actually, on anyone around us, could so dramatically alter the course of their life experience.
If we could just bring to our own understanding the simple notion of wanting to belong.
To fully comprehend that the raw entanglement of our everyday engagements, could shape energy and shape minds and behaviour and make us so instantly more compassionate toward our fellow human beings.
He gave me a precious gift that day.
I realised the importance of my words and actions in the lives of those around me, and I appreciated them differently.
Respect was born. A kind of unspoken namaste. A hoponopono.
Let us be wise in how we speak. Mindful in our choices and our doings.
It is all a great mirror, what we give, truly reflects back to us.
Ultimately, we do not understand the greatness of everyone's separate stories, until we can read them all together in this great book called Life.
Let us tread gently in the lives of others and continue to let the words that fall from our lips be turned over twice and tested...
Is it true
Is it kind
Is it necessary
Just a last salute to you dear Sean... I will always remember.