Truly Powerful People (325)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I came across this post today – from the archives of another blog. It belongs in the Truly Powerful People canon because Judy is among the most powerful people I know I delight in sharing her with you:

Judy and I were approaching the crosswalk on the far side of the Town and Country Market. We had coffee in hand and were heading to the park across the small avenue en route to the harbor to sit and talk. Judy is one of my favorite people, full of laughter and learning, and my opportunities to see her are rare and precious; I want to hoard every minute with her. A blue station wagon with a forgotten six pack of beer riding on the roof of the car, turned right out of the lot and the six pack, lacking fingers or suction cups, could not make the turn, took flight and exploded in a foamy mess, littering the crosswalk with shards of glass.

Like the many pedestrians and park-goers present for the explosion, I was thinking only of myself (after all, I was in hoard-my-time-with-Judy mode) so I pretended not to see the mess or the distressed station wagon driver that had pulled over after realizing that her beer never made it into her car. Judy was also thinking of herself but unlike the rest of us, her definition of herself includes being an active, responsible member of a community. “Can I help you?” Judy asked, handing me her coffee as she walked toward the station wagon. I was already across the street heading toward the harbor completely unaware that I now had two cups of coffee in my hands. The woman’s response to Judy stopped me in my tracks. She said, “Thank you for being so human.”

I turned around, set the coffee on the curb, and helped Judy and the woman pick up glass. Judy flagged down a city truck (she wanted a broom and, of course, the next vehicle to come along was a city parks truck with every tool known to human kind). Within a few minutes, the glass was swept up, the crosswalk was safe for crossing, and the woman, the park workers and I went our separate ways each feeling better about our selves and the world. More importantly, a playground full of children watched and I assume they, too, on some level, felt better about the world. All that was required for this bit of feel-good magic was for one person, Judy, to be human.

Her very small gesture came with an enormous impact. Her ability to “be human” opened others to be human (that would be me). Her capacity to engage generated engagement. This is why I love Judy: I become more myself when I am with her because I open to the relationships around me, the unpredictable, the uncontrollable, scary potential that comes from saying things to strangers like, “Can I help you?” Life becomes simple when engagement rather than denial or resistance is the rule. Time becomes less important than relationship – which guarantees that “time” will be meaningful.

Judy knows that her quality of life is directly related to the quality of life of all the members of her community. If there is something to be done, rather than ignoring it or expending copious amounts of energy blaming others or complaining about it, Judy acts on it. She lives in choice. She knows that community is not a fixed thing but a relationship and requires all the commitment, tolerance and dedication that powerful relationships deserve – it is messy and it’s hers to do. And, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

One Response

  1. I LOVE this story. And I love you. And I love Judy, just from your description of her. 🙂 Thanks for sharing David.

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