My Lollipop Moment
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault
My friend Drew calls the often overlooked, yet significant, little moments in life and leadership Lollipop moments; moments where someone changes your life with a small gesture, or moments where you are made aware of a life you changed without even realizing it.
Today, I want to share my recent Lollipop moment with you.
Building community and making the world a better place through small daily acts of kindness are things which I love to do. Being the friendly guy I am, one thing I particularly enjoy is speaking to strangers while commuting – yes, I am THAT guy on the subway! Everyone has something interesting to share, and it always makes the commute more enjoyable.
Years ago, when I was in law school at the University of British Columbia, I was flying regularly between Vancouver and Toronto during my holiday breaks. On one particular flight to Toronto, I was sitting in an aisle seat and to my delight, there was a beautiful girl sitting in the window seat. No one was sitting between us. Half of me was delighted, the other half, nervous as hell.
Eventually, shortly after the plane took off, I gathered my courage and broke the ice.
Natalie was from Vancouver, and she was studying law in England. We ended up speaking about our personal lives, interests, and passions. It turned out that our values aligned on many levels. For instance, we both loved the outdoors, traveling, and considered ourselves to be environmentalists. We ended up speaking the entire duration of the flight, and it seemed like we could have kept going for another few hours.
After the plane landed, we went to collect our luggage together, exchanged emails, and then had an awkward goodbye; you know, the type where you feel like you just really clicked with someone, but you know you’ll be in different parts of the world, and are not sure if you should hug or shake hands to bid each other farewell.
We didn’t really end up keeping in touch over email and years passed bye. I forgot about her, and figured she was just another person with whom I enjoyed a conversation while commuting.
In the fall of 2011, I was working at the David Suzuki Foundation in Toronto, and we were hosting a bake-off between the Environmental Non-profits in the city. Lots of people showed up, but someone caught my attention; a girl who looked very familiar who was working on the final touches of her brownie platter.
I walked up to her, and said “Hi. I know this is random, but by any chance were you on a flight from Vancouver to London via Toronto a few years ago?”
It was her!
We were both shocked. We hugged, and we ended up laughing and catching up the rest of the night. She now works at a local environmental law firm, and I’m grateful to say that we are now friends.
Talk about serendipity! Life is beautiful, isn’t it?
So, what’s your Lollypop moment?
I want to thank Drew Dudley for inspiring this post, reminding me of the little things which truly matter, and continuing to share his message with others. Check out his TED Talk on Lollipop moments, and add your Lollipop moment to the collection on his site: www.mylollipopmoment.com.