Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Greetings from Greenwood, South Carolina

When I was younger, I loved to collect postcards from different places that I had traveled to and for some reason, I particularly loved the images of postcards like the “Greetings from …” series.

It’s not the places so much as the people that fascinate me in the many places I have been blessed to travel.

I was reminded of this this morning when I received an errant fax on behalf of a business in Greenwood, South Carolina.  I contacted the business to inform them that their fax had gone to the wrong recipient and I had a brief albeit nice chat with the owner of the establishment before hanging up.

Having not been to Greenwood before, I looked them up and came up with a few tidbits.

They have a beautiful Festival of Flowers.

They have what appears to be a fun weekend of food, music and more at their annual Festival of Discovery.

They have a renowned hospital system.

Their population as of the 2010 census was around 23,000 or so.

They have the unfortunate distinction of being the hardest hit county in the United States according to poverty statistics.

And based on the one person that I spoke to today, they appear to be fine, friendly folk. :-)

Why do these statistics matter to you?

They don’t …. not one bit.

Or maybe they mean everything to you.

Whenever I get an errant email, fax, call or such, I always make sure to reach out to the sender to inform them that their communication intention hasn’t worked, especially if the content is of a privacy or time-sensitive nature.

If the sender is from a place that I have no knowledge of, I always like to take a few minutes to understand a little bit of the world that that person exists in.

When we spend most of our time immersed in our own world, our own journey and our own context, we lose sight of the journeys of the other 6.5 billion people riding around on the rock that we call “home”.

And when we lose sight of the other journeys in progress parallel to our own, I think we lose sight of the “collective coolness” of the human experience.

Media of all forms will try to convince us that the world is coming to an end.  Even people like myself occasionally have to deliver bad news to people to wake them up personally, professionally, politically, societally, financially, spiritually or some other “ly” word.  Whenever you see me tag something with #1206, it is one of those cranial defibrillator notifications.

But let’s not forget to take some time when we have the opportunity to take a peek over the wall into someone else’s world to explore beauty and “coolness” that one may not have been aware of otherwise.

You will both be better for the experience, perhaps in ways unknown to you now but which will at some point make sense to you.

I think everything happens for a reason, even an errant fax from Greenwood, South Carolina.

What do you think?

In service and servanthood,


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