Getting some perspective

I came into the office this morning late and cranky… I’m thinking about my next career move, brain spinning in a million different directions at once, and taking some deep breaths to encourage focus. Not really seeing where I’m going as I walk down the street, but I know there’s a coffee and cookie at Specialty’s with my name on them. And that will motivate me toward the office. It’s that kind of day, you know what I mean?
When I get to the office, Charles is back at the building’s front desk. He is a true southern gentleman and one of the reasons I really looked forward to getting an office in this building. But he hasn’t been here since I moved in (September 1), and I thought he had left.
I ask Charles if he is okay, if everything is alright, and his answer is “no, not really”… this is the kind of statement people generally laugh off, they would reply “oh I hope your day improves”, and then turn toward the elevator to head to their own set of problems. But I’ve never been good at being one of those kind of people. So I walked over to chat with Charles.
It turns out he’s been in Texas the past month, working with the Red Cross, helping out victims of Hurricane Ike. Why is he not okay? His body-clock is off, his brain is distracted, he’s thinking about the little girl who gave him a crayon-drawn thank you card. Charles may be sitting in the lobby at 55 New Montgomery, but his mind is still in Texas with all the people who suffered, and who he did his best to help.
That kind of caring self-sacrifice always stops my heart – and pulls me out of myself. It’s easy to lose sight of life’s big picture when we’re caught up in our own world of problems. Fortunately the world sometimes decides to intervene in ways we don’t expect.






One response to “Getting some perspective”

  1. risu23 Avatar

    Poignant post, Mark. Isn’t it strange how hard it is keep perspective sometimes? When stressed at work, I try to remember “it’s only a video game” but that tends to be buried by other, more obvious issues like deadlines. It’s my lifelong struggle to _be here now_.