Cherish what is important to you

In some way, the barely comprehensible emormity of the tragedy that has descended upon the community of Beslan in North Ossetia has served as a cathartic coda to what has been a difficult week. At the start of the week, I learned that my good friend and colleague Bert is desperately and, it would seem, terminally ill.

In the days since, little of my normal work routine has seemed important and my mind is unerringly drawn back to thinking of my friend. Whilst words rarely capture feelings fully or adequately express emotion, the scores of messages posted by colleagues to a forum set up by Bert’s friends and family have a simple and appropriate eloquence. They are eloquent in their portrayal of a true and decent human being, a man who has a commodity that is rare in these modern times – nobility.

Yet amongst all the head shaking and swallowing back of lumps in the throat, there have been tiny moments of gladness and connection. For me, they were like the first grateful breath after waking from a bad dream or the the first glimpse of purple heather on a fire-ravaged moor. The very process of contacting folks around the globe to relay the awful news brought me back into contact with two treasured friends I had let slip from my life. Both have been an inspiration to me in different ways and have helped bring me to particular places in my life – professionally and personally. Crystal is among the most inspirational people I have met and it was perhaps fitting that a simple Google search for her name led me to a coaching website through which I was able to contact her. Papa is a charming and humourous man who has borne almost overwhelming personal tragedy himself this year and yet found more within his heart to reach out to our mutual friend.

Along with a small group of others, these three good people came into my life in the most ordinary way when we all were chosen to represent our respective regions in a new initiative at work. Some connection was made during the two weeks we spent together in Atlanta that joins us, where ever we are and what ever we do. It is only now, with the benefit of hindsight and in the shadow of sadness, that I am able to appreciate the true serendipity that brought such wonderful, selfless and like-minded people into my life.

I’ll leave you with a picture and a thought. The picture is of some, but by no means all, of the folks who made up that serendipitous mix – we may be spread across the globe and separated by much but we are always bonded by the happy moments we made for each other.

Papa – Monica – Jane – Colin – self – Bert – Oscar

The thought is this: cherish every connection and relationship, no matter how fleeting or trivial it might seem, for you may only discover too late that it means so much more than you first thought.

Leave a Reply