The catch-up was supposed to be on the fun side of life. We had known of each other at previously companies. He had gone on to work for the same institutions as I did, with a five-year delay. The perspectives were similar while being very different. Institutional leadership, changing economic conditions, and bankruptcy alter every organization.
As we sat down, I asked if I could ask one or two work questions. His bright “yes” gave me hope that we could deal with them and move to subjects that were more enjoyable!
My questions centered on how we served his client segment. My experience told me one thing. A call earlier with my service manager had given me a different perspective. At the core, they were opposing viewpoints. I did not have a particular loyalty to my view, however I did find it puzzling.
I presented my questions as a puzzle. The focal point of the puzzle centered on a single question. What did he think?
I do not have the answers. I do have views. I also have experiences. I even have opinions.
In responding, I did not get a direct answer. He talked of the principles that he had come to believe were truths. It was a fun conversation. We shared stories. We wandered through our respective experiences. We spoke of our beliefs and values. We followed a path of affirming principles to the other, even when one could assume that they were already known.
Many have done it before us. A group of men told a wisdom father that they “continue to hold fast to what we wrote in that letter, namely, to be careful not to get involved in activities connected with idols; to avoid serving food offensive to Jewish Christians; to guard the morality of sex and marriage.” (Acts 21.25b) They affirmed their principles.
Last night we affirmed ours. We found ourselves in knowledgeable agreement. It was a hope filled conversation. I had a fresh perspective that was richer for the conversation. It left me energized for the day that is beginning.