Thursday, December 20, 2007

Never Under Estimate Anyone

I am really finding this journey of writing what I learn when I go to the restroom quite the eye opener. I just never know what I am going to learn next.

Today, as I was headed into a public restroom the custodian was there. He told me, "You gunna have ta wait a minute, cuz we'z all full up in d'er." Now he was pushing a mop and had his wet floor sign up, but that didn't matter at all. He stopped mopping just to say something that was on his mind. So he started with a question:

"You eva think much 'bout physics -n- @^!% ?"
"Sure," I told him as I was eyeballing the stalls hoping one would open up.
"Nah, man I'm talk'n like that stuff they invent'n -n- @^!% ."

The more he insisted to hold a conversation with me the more I was cramping up inside. I really had to go and things were getting intense. Patience was running low. But being cordial I asked him a question in return.

"So you mean to tell me you clean toilets and mop floors and your busy thinking about physics?"
"Of course man," he retorted and whipped out his new iPhone.
"You see d'is @^!% ? D'is @^!% is just scratch'n the surface man. D'is is just the beginn'n. I'm tell'n you that they gunna be making nano bots that gunna take the internet inside our heads man. Just you wait -n- see. The cyborg generation is here man."

Just then a stall was opened up and I anxiously told him to excuse me and dashed to the stall. I'm not really a big fan of sitting on a pre-warmed seat but nature was calling and I quickly set out the paper and sat down to do my business. While I was sitting there, the custodian that I was beginning to think had watched a bit too much sci-fi was talking with some new person that had entered the bathroom when he said something very interesting, and quite profound. He said:

"Excuse me sir did you realize that yo blu toof technology is aktually a destinct representation that man and machine is learn'n to get along wif each otha?" The man chuckled and said that he never thought of it that way. And then the boy continued, "dat's ekactly why I's goin to skoo, so'z I's can learn how to make betta technology to get machines to work betta for us humans. We'z gotta do somethin dat don't pollute and poision us. You know what I'm sayin?" The man mumbled and scuffled off.

I then realized that I had underestimated the youngman in a janitor suit. I had sized him up based on his current job and criticized him in my mind because he was just a custodian. I was so busy thinking about myself, as was the other guy, that I didn't catch how passionate this young man was about doing something to make a difference in the world.

As I thought about it more I knew that I have had jobs that were certainly not the highest calibur where I knew I was better than the job or my manager. But this kid didn't let his job slow him down from dreaming big and shooting for the stars. I don't know if I will ever meet him again. But that sort of ambition will take him far.

I realized today in the stall at a public restroom that to truly be happy no matter where my station in life may be the best place to be happy is now looking towards the future and greater days yet to come. To have gratitude for things we have now, such as his iPhone. That seems to be a great combination: Ambition, Forward Thinking & Gratitude.

So with that here it is:

Wisdom from the John today:

Never Under Estimate Anyone.

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