My video call a senior executive was wrapping up. As a courtesy, he asked if I had any questions.
“You were with the bank for many years. Three years ago, you left. A year ago, you came back. I assume that there were several reasons for coming back. What were the top one or two?”
“I never knew what I valued the most until I did not have it. When I left I discovered that there were things about the bank that I treasured. When they were not there, I realized how important they were to me. They were the reasons I came back.”
He went on to talk about the characteristics of the company he missed. He talked about the joy of embracing them on his return. It was one of the most compelling conversations I have ever had on organizational values. I do not know if we will ever work together. I do know that I would always take his call! The values he spoke of are the ones I want in any organization I am a part of.
His candor reminded me of the lost opportunities in my life and the community as a whole. Bad timing, misplaced priorities, and ignorance have combined to shape a life filled with lost opportunities. Friendships that could have been are no longer possible when the other has passed. Relationships that floundered because of a lack of attention are now past the point of recovery. Every life is filled with doors that were never opened. While I would like to put the blame on others, in the darkness of the night I know my decisions were keys in each. David’s words of yesterday ring true again; “We’ve so narrowly missed being gods, bright with Eden’s dawn light.” (Psalm 8.5)
The lessons of yesterday, even those 40 years old, can be helpful in the present. There are new opportunities within our reach. We can act. We can make a difference. We have another chance. We hold the keys. This time, I want to open the door to More.