The ripples you create…
I was on a train going into central London yesterday. A lady came on, Korean I think, and sat down opposite me and on the other side of the aisle. She pulled out a tangerine and peeled it.
She then offered some to the man sitting opposite her – a thin black man with a beard who’d been ensconced in his phone. He said no, she insisted, and he took some.
She gets up to go at the next stop, asks him in very broken English if he’d mind throwing away the peel, gives me one of those “you need to smile” smiles as I’m ensconced on my laptop, and gets off.
The thin black man turns to me, the fat white Palestinian, and says of the short Korean lady “what a nice lady”.
(God I love London’s melting pot!)
With that, he and I spark off a conversation. And it’s a conversation about the good things in humanity.
We get off at Waterloo as best mates having had a really hopeful chat on the train. He puts the peel in the bin – saying “I feel I’d be letting her down in the mission she set me” – and we part ways.
She’d shared a couple of slices of tangerine. She also made him smile and feel warm. Which made me smile and feel warm. Which made the two of us have a lovely chat. Which made us both talk about it afterwards.
She’d thrown herself as a happy pebble into a pond, and rippled out warmth way beyond the simple human act of sharing her food. And the warmth is still rippling out. A day later and not only from the person she shared her food with.
I always talk to people. I like to try to bring a smile at least. I’ve never shared food with random people on the train.[At least not when sober!]
She’s made me think I really need to do it more. And that we all need to do it more.
She doesn’t know I’m writing about her. And you won’t know where the ripples you start, happy or destructive ones, will end up.
We should all do it more. If you lead a company, your weight is a boulder thrown into the pond that is your company. If you’re a parent, your weight is boulder thrown into the pond that is your family.
But we all of us cause ripples all the time.
What ripples will you start this weekend? I hope they’re happy.
How's 2023 started for you? Is strategy consistently being executed? Are you not having to firefight or get involved in more deals than you should? We're looking for a group of 5 CEOs (10 to 100 employees) to join us on this workshop to talk through how to make your strategy, purpose and values happen. Join us.