Everyday, People meet other people under different circumstances. Mostly, the way two people encounter one other and the result that comes out of their brief or long term interactions are of no correlation. To put it simply, Who we meet and how we meet –almost all the time– has nothing to do with why we met them. A casual looking contact between two people(souls) emerges as a defining moment in both their lives. It is commonly believed that: The means justifies the end. In this occasions, justification is the only relation between the means and the final outcome. The means is there only to justify or facilitate a conducive environment to what is really meant to take place. Let me mention two experiences to illustrate my point further.
One time, I got a best friend and mentor out of a stranger I met in a local jewelry market. We had to decide which one of us is going to take the only remaining, one of a kind silver ring. Seeing the genuine admire she had for the piece, I let her buy it. As a gesture of appreciation, she offered to buy me coffee. I am a bit reserved and shy when it comes to socializing. But not at that exact moment , and the ones that followed. Something from deep within overshadowed my hesitant inclination, filling me with a never-felt-before courage and excitement. I agreed.
Once done with shopping, we went to a near bycafe and talked for hours like we have known each other for life. That day, I gained a best friend and a mentor. Normally, it is almost impossible for me to meet a stranger in a local jewelry market, agree to go for coffee, and chat for hours. But the sound from within kept on telling me to trust the moment and flow with it. I listened, and allowed myself be fully engrossed in being in the moment. It felt safe to be me: to say what came to mind, to have an honest laugh, to have no expectation, not to calculate, to just be there, to be fully present. It was magical.
A simple conversation about a silver ring led to a moment that changed my life forever. From that moment on, the sound from within became the first voice I listen to before I make any decision or take action. By giving away a one of a kind silver, I gained a best friend and mentor, opened a permanent channel between me and my heart(the source of the inner voice), and experienced the full benefit of ceasing a moment; ceasing a defining moment, to be exact.
There was also a time when I bumped into a talented artist at a motor show who ended up fixing frames for the paintings I had just bought. The paintings were not that expensive, in case you were wondering, but I wanted them framed for preservation and house decoration purposes. I was hoping to find a carpenter who is an artist or an artist who is also a carpenter. Someone who would treat them as works of art rather than just another furniture to fix. Little did I know that my wish was to come true in the most highly unlikely manner ever.
As I later discovered, cars are the least of his interests. My artist friend came to the motor show because his brother insisted he come. In fact, when we bumped into each other, he was getting ready to leave. By then, the show had barely begun. Our light head on collision made me drop my ticket. He apologized and picked it. I was wearing a locally made t-shirt. It had a Kenyan flag printed on its chest area. Handing me the ticket, he casually mentioned that he is the designer and distributor of the t-shirt. After expressing a deep appreciation, I went straight to telling him about my frame-less paintings. We were both in a hurry; me not wanting to miss the show and him anxious to leave his least favorite scene. So, we exchanged business cards and parted ways.
Our friendship continued even after he did an awesome job on my paintings. He thought me about the value of spirituality, meditation, and yoga. These three became the pillars to my completely reformed life. By reformed, I mean highly elevated, entirely refurbished, and totally renewed. It was as if I was nothing that became something. All this happened because of a light collision, a ticket, and a t-shirt. Three components that have no relation to what unfolded. None whatsoever.
My artist friend later told me, ”We would not have met under any other circumstances because I rarely leave my studio which is also my business premises.” And we live in towns that are two hours apart, located in opposite sides of Nairobi.This incidents, thought me –if nothing else– that there is no such thing as coincidence in life. As the famous American Football coach, Vince Lombardi would put it: The man on top of the mountain did not fall there. Who we meet and how we meet, most of the time, has nothing to do with why we met them. But the meeting has to take place so it can lead to something bigger. A means appears to later justify an end totally unrelated to it. Two souls had to desire a one of a kind silver ring, or two people had to literally bump into each other to lay out the stage for a bigger scene to take effect. These are defining moments that play a huge role in what shape our life will take. We are defined by how we take advantage such precious moments.
A defining moment is where two souls(people) come across each other to start a process that will lead to something great. And, it will disappear into thin air if we hesitate or delay to seize it. In these moments, we will be required to take action not knowing what the results or consequences will be. They are decisive moments that appear insignificant. These are moments we can not afford to miss. When a defining moment appears before us , there is no time to assess or analyze, and no time to pause and consider options. It is fleeting. Unless we follow our heart –that encouraging sound from within– and put our faith or belief into use we will lose that moment once and for all.
Pure belief in what our heart(conscience) tells us is what will serve us as a net to trap defining moments and experience them to the fullest. You see, it is from the simple conversations with a stranger that a lasting marriage emanates, it is the few casually inscribed ideas that will give birth to a classic or a best selling book, and it is a small effort that will gradually lead to greatness in any aspect of our lives.
The biggest moments in our lives come when we master capturing the small ones.
When we meet people, it is not mere luck or coincidence. Far from it. The meeting is only a means. Finding what it leads to is up to us.
Please share a small moment in your life that turned out to be great. And what you did to make sure that defining moment did not pass you by.