On the surface of each other

As a radio host of a weekly interview program, I often find myself saying something to the effect of "I know you, but I don't really know you."  Think about the people you interact with every day, at the office, on the job site, or even in your neighbourhood.  How much do you know them, really.

The fact is that most of us exist on the surface of each other.  We know the faces, names, roles and various other basic facts that are common knowledge. There is so much we don't know, or bother to ask.

One of the great pleasures of the past year and a half of hosting over 70 guests on the weekly Impact radio show has been getting to know people in this community, just a little bit more.  It's been wonderful hearing about parents, hometowns, motivations, surprising talents, and personal passions.  I have had the honour of hearing stories that have melted my heart and inspired my soul.

A leader who went left instead a right, a caregiver who spent 18 hours on the phone trying to save a client on May 3rd, an artist with a photographic memory, a sector colleague with a mother who started the Safe Grad movement - just a few examples of a long list of moments diving below the surface of people I work with and around every day when I found something truly special.

I've been in the working world for the better part of 30 years.  I have literally worked with hundreds and hundreds of different people.  The ones that rise to the top in my memory are those who I got to know, just a little bit more.  Dipping below the surface, just a few inches, can make all the difference in the world.

Hanna is a great example.  We have worked together, in a number of different way - professionally and extracurricularly - for a number of years.  Prior to the fire though, our interactions were very much on the surface.  To be honest - and Hanna will attest to this - our relationship felt a little awkward, perhaps a little strained.  The fire changed that dynamic. Through adversity, loss, time and a few moments of vulnerability (from both of us), our relationship strengthened and deepened.  I'm so grateful that it did because we've become much more effective work colleagues and close friends.  Hanna will soon be going on to new things. To say that I will miss her deeply would be an understatement; I will miss her every day.

Who is in your life that is floating along on the surface?  Can you picture them?  If the situation is right, and you feel inclined to do so, go for a little dive and discover the treasures below.  You will find that the people you know a little, are worth getting to know a little bit more.


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