Our Unique Gift

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Over the past 6 to 8 weeks I have begun to realize one of my true gifts in life, why I was specifically put on this planet and trusting in that gift. For the past 30 years I’ve been introducing people to each other and I couldn’t tell you exactly why. I would meet a new person and someone’s name would come into my head and I would just make the introduction. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of introducing thousands of people to each other, many one to one and many more through group experiences. For all these years I thought this was natural and that everyone did this, but yesterday I received a phone call that took me back more than 20 years.

It was about 3 pm and I received a text from a good friend who lives in Atlanta. The text had a picture of him and another young man that I didn’t recognize, but based on the text I’m sure I’d met him before. When I replied “His face seems vaguely familiar but I can’t say I do. Did he work with you back in NY?,” I immediately received a call from my friend. He told me that the man in the picture was someone that I had met in 2013 at a conference called SOCAP in San Francisco. The young man was a motivational speaker using hip hop to get his message through to inner city youth. The friend I introduced him to is one of the best entrepreneurs I’ve met in my life and works exclusively with teens and motivating youth, so it made sense to make the introduction. In our call yesterday my friend told me that he bought this young man’s company and he just wanted to thank me.

Beyond this young man’s company, I had also introduced my friend to dozens of others over the years with no intent other than to help. Every time I met someone that triggered his name I would take action. In our call yesterday my friend connected at least 6 different introductions, six different dots, that have lead to major opportunities in his life. The story gets even better, but that story is for another day. Yesterday I was reminded about what I do and who I am. I tell people all the time that we all experience this planet uniquely and no one sees things the way that we do, and now I’m realizing that maybe that’s true for me. Every day I send out “Connecting Dots” emails, emails that introduce two people to each other that didn’t know each other before. The feedback that I’ve received from those actions has been so heartwarming and I love doing it. So, I sit here today committed to introducing as many people as possible to each other, that my gift is the gift of human connection and that gift has served others well.

The idea that what I do serves other well is the key here. I never made introductions for my benefit, I always did it for theirs. The joy I feel when I know two people that need to meet actually connect is amazing. Over the next few years I’m committed to do the same thing for married couples. I’ve spoken with Ilise (my wife) about committing at least one Friday evening a month and inviting two couples to our house that don’t know each other. Not just any two couples, but couples that we believe would connect in a deep way. As we get past the time when our kids are the connectors for us in the community, I see people’s worlds getting smaller. I know that what I do naturally and with such joy can make such a difference in their life.

So, where does this leave me? All I can say is that yesterday was a HUGE milestone and sign that what I do every day is special. The way that I see the world in unique and what I do impacts the lives of others. As a Rotarian, as a human on this planet there’s not much more I can ask for. I feel fulfilled beyond explanation and I look forward to connecting people for the rest of my life!

To a life well lived.

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