It’s People…it’s PEOPLE…

If you’ve got images of masses upon masses of people living one upon the other in a dingy world wherein a detective – Robert Thorn – solves crimes and gets by with the help of his friend Sol, I applaud you.  Nevertheless this isn’t a time to talk about corporations, executives murdered, or what day Tuesday is, because it sure isn’t Soylent Green day here today.  Rather I hope to tell a much more uplifting story.

One of the things that is often hard to learn in the working world is that it’s not always about the work.  My years on Capitol Hill showed me the truth of this in my own situation, but it was one I resisted for the majority of my time there.  By the time I left in late 2012, I’d come to accept that it was more about the people and it was time spent mentoring interns and watching my family run health care businesses that affirmed this truth: life is more about the people in it than the work you do.

Nevertheless, sometimes truth can get lost in the pages of new chapters of life.  When this happens, it often takes someone else to show you’ve slid – even a little – back into an old lane.  For me, it was a man named Wayne (no, not Bruce Wayne).

I recently met Wayne en-route to connect with an old friend who now lives on the west coast but was in town on business.  We crossed paths because he stopped me to ask about the batteries that power Finley (my scooter) and where I get them changed.  I told him that I once had batteries changed at a place in Silver Spring, MD, but was much more curious as to why an able-bodied person was asking such a uncommon question.  I learned that Wayne’s college-age daughter has a condition that is degenerative in nature and  transitions to walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters were being resisted and proving difficult. I then realized I would be late to meet my friend because this conversation would take some time, but in the moment was the most important place for me to be.  As we talked, I shared pieces of my own journey and explained there would be days ahead that would be challenging as this new reality set in for them, a reality that would need to be fully accepted and owned, otherwise the condition would do the owning.  I stressed that there would be days and places that she would have to walk alone, because in these sorts of journeys, friends and family can only go so far, that a lot of those solitary  places would be internal tests of perseverance and wherewithal.   Conversely, we talked of finding ways to do good, to help others, to give the present and coming struggles a semblance of meaning; learning to endure for the sake of helping another endure down the road.  I promised Wayne that I would pass some things on to him from my own experiences that would encourage and bless his family as they endure this long-form trial together.  It is a promise I’ve gladly kept.  I get the feeling I’ll be seeing more of Wayne in the days ahead.

I had started out that morning in an overcast place because of recent things happening to me or within my close orbit, not quite expecting that by the  day’s end it would be some of those very recent events that would put me in the right elevator at the right moment to speak into the life of someone else (and by extension, his family).  It was the most important thing I did that day, probably that week, all because I allowed my life to be interrupted by someone I didn’t know.

As I rolled across the street to meet my west-coast friend, it was as if I could almost hear Charlton Heston’s voice whispering those immortal words: “It’s people…it’s PEOPLE…”

Who needs you to unexpectedly roll into their life?

Posted on by Aaron in Uncategorized

About Aaron

Author, Speaker, and Super Nerd. Aaron Welty speaks and writes regularly connecting the dots of life, faith, and science fiction. Originally from Michigan, he now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

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