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  • Writer's pictureH. Rick Goff

People We Meet

You ever wonder why you meet or cross paths with some people? Many people you meet become different levels of friends and you possibly develop and share a relationship of some sort. But some people we meet are no more than casual encounters that are brief and seemingly insignificant. Not much thought is given to the purpose of meeting these people and they are often just forgotten. But I don't believe in coincidence or chance and think everyone we meet adds a small piece of patchwork to the quilt of our lives. The casual meeting and conversation while standing in the checkout line at the grocery store or waiting in line to board a flight has meaning. The people we meet in casual encounters play a part in shaping our overall outlook on life.

We meet many people over the course of our lives in various ways and in various environments. The reason for meeting some people is obvious because over time they have a noticeable impact on our lives. While the purpose of meeting other people is not so obvious or apparent, and they tend to quickly fade from our memory. But I think we gain something from everyone we meet, a valuable tidbit of knowledge that settles somewhere in our subconscious and comes out at the right time to help us do and be better. It could be the pushy salesman, the bad waiter, or the rude cashier. It could be the pleasant flight attendant, the kind lady at the customer service counter, or the nice kid bagging groceries. The people we casually meet may not be the pieces that frame our puzzle of life, but they are surely some of the middle pieces that must fit in order to complete the puzzle! It may be insightful words, a random act of kindness, or a friendly smile during an uncomfortable situation. The people that casually cross our path play a part in shaping our narrative!

From the deckhand on the fishing boat in Thailand who gave me such a sense of peace when he innocently told me "fishing seems to make you happy--I hope you get to fish the rest of your life", to the young lady who made me feel needed when she asked me to hold her hand during a rough flight. I casually met them as they crossed my path in different environments and I've never seen either of them again. But they both added to the fabric of my life and in a small way helped complete me. As a life-long learner, I've learned we are social creatures by nature and have an inherent need to meet and interact with other people. But most importantly, I've learned we are linked by the common bond of humanity with all the people we meet.

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