The Kindness of Strangers

Unlike Blanche Dubois, I haven’t always depended on the kindness of strangers, though I am not opposed to the kindness of strangers, if their kindness makes sense in which the kindness is offered.

Like the times that the person in the checkout line spies my gallon of milk and pack of spinach and says “Oh, why don’t you go ahead of me?” Thus, I don’t have to linger behind them as they scan a month supply of dried goods. Such incidents seem to be fewer and farther between as the years go by.

Or last year when the person parked next to us at the Christmas tree farm offered to give me a bungee cord so that I could better secure the sawed-off Douglas fir in the trunk of my Honda. That level of generosity was of such a high magnitude when the metal hook became unfastened and ripped a generous chunk of tissue from from head, I whispered the reflexive cuss-words, instead of shouting them out, audible across all of Kent county.

Moments such as these are  usually uplifting, though seldom life-changing.

Though one day later, I’m still measuring the gravity of a comment  that a gentleman, also a vet of the Chicago advertising market, wrote in response to a post I’d made in on Linkedin discussion group several months ago. Here is an excerpt of the what he told me:

I, too, resided in the ad universe and was intrigued by your Google+ post. I just wanted to weigh in that it was a wonderfully written proposal and very substantive in your arguments.

It was one of the most uplifting experiences I’ve had in a while. Enough so that after a long hiatus,  I began discussing the concept with friends and acquaintances (both new and ‘auld’) in grocery stores, at the gym, on Facebook. Heck, I event sat down to blog about it.

The post he is referring to is a post that I’d made on Google+ well over six months ago for my “accessible reality” concept. In recognition, that the whole world is NOT on G+, I wrote a post on my blog, which include my G+ proposal, some months ago.

I have been contracting out SharePoint skills for the past year at a client, and I have admittedly been spending a lot less time on my idea. Though, after reading that gentleman’s comment, I have concluded some  things:

  1.  In the past year, Baby Boomers and senior citizens have not gotten any younger and product labels are still damn-hard to read. There is still an enormous opportunity for Accessible Reality.
  2. I really need to get busy refreshing the conversations with friends and acquaintances  who have transitions to new jobs, with new client lists.
  3. I need to gain feedback from strangers; whether it is kind or not.
  4.  I will  to remind myself of all the positive input that I have had on this area from friends, acquaintances  and strangers.  Most importantly I need to remember the phone conversation in which a  former colleague concluded that “….this is a shit-hot idea!”
  5. And as much as I feel awkward with the elevator pitch. I recognize the need to tighten mine up and be prepared to constantly refine it. I will also have an alternative pitch when taking the stairs, probably with fewer words to allow for the occasional huff and puff.

I am looking  forward to future conversations on this front and wishing all of my friends, acquaintances, and strangers a shit-hot 2012.



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