Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Story Time

I realised something today.

I was sitting at my desk at work, formulating an important letter when one of the guys from the factory walked in. He'd finished his shift and was heading home but thought he'd stop in and have a quick chat with the office guys.

Now, Cole is a pretty genuine guy. What you see is what you get, or so I thought. He's straight down the line, wants quick facts not details and is focused on the task at hand. But there is much more to him than first impressions.

Before you start saying, 'woot woo, Naomi's crunching on a guy', let's just get facts straight. I am merely an observant bystander who noticed an interesting humanity fact.

Everyone has a story.

It's not until you scratch under the surface when you begin to see the person. When I asked Cole a question about his life, his narrative unfolded.

Cole is a sixty-something guy who knows an honest days work. He knows how to put food on the table for his family, he knows all about hard work and he knows that honesty and reliability goes a long way in the world.

But Cole also knows where the bats like to camp in Maitland. He knows about an old fruit tree that people used to grow in their yards until the councils came and cut them down back in the day. He knows about travelling in an old car and how to keep the engine cool on a hot day. He knows where the hidden gully is and how the willow trees create a leafy, green canopy over the water. He knows that just down the road where all the new houses are was where the cattle breeders used to live and that the grass was never as green as it was now.

You see, everyone has a story. First impressions should never last. There is more to a person than what you think.

My challenge to myself is, will I take the time to hear someone's story?