Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Plane Inspired by Dolls

I want to thank literally the hundreds of people who have written and called to check in regarding my mom's surgery. I am thankful to report she came through with flying colors and actually got to go home this evening which was fantastic. We won't get the final word back on the biopsy until Monday but the surgeon seemed extremely optimistic which is a huge relief to us all.

Thank you for keeping her and my entire family in your thoughts and prayers. It is most appreciated.
Now back to regular BLOG business.

On the plane ride out to Albuquerque I was fortunate enough to witness first-hand the unselfish act of children and found such inspiration in what I saw. Two sisters probably no more than 6and 8 years of age came onto our plane in Dallas. They were seated next to another girl that was 7 years old (she proudly announced to whoever would listen) and had been the hit of the plane ride up from Austin as she warmed everyone in her view with an infectious impish grin and giggle that simply stole your heart.

These girls immediately exchanged pleasantries and big smiles were shared all around. It was one of the purest forms of sincere connection that I have seen in quite some time. After a round of names and associated kid topical business was out of the way, it was determined that they all would be heading onto Los Angeles following a quick stop over to drop a few of us off in Albuquerque.

I bet it didn't take five minutes and these girls who were otherwise perfect strangers were exchanging candy and showing off their Easter loot from the day before. Despite having no personal connection the 7 year old offered up her suite of dolls for the two sisters to play with without hesitation or worry for her possessions. She gave specific reasons for each of the dolls names and pointed out the features she most liked about each one of them. The other two girls were enthralled and took careful measures to treat the dolls with kid gloves. Play ensued and all three of them engaged like they had been life-long friends.

Laughter and pure joy was infectious as people all around took notice and seemed to catch themselves, if only for a minute, asking themselves why can't it be that easy for us as adults to connect that way. It looked like fun because it was.

I was truly inspired that these little girls played and joked throughout the flight and I found myself almost wishing I was a kid again (but no I didn't want to play with dolls...had to say it before someone posts a comment on it). It did seem so easy for them to meet.
The concept of strangers rarely exists in kidom (my own made up word for the world of all things kid) and somewhere along the way we lose that. We forget how much fun meeting new people can be. We become too introverted and fail to approach those people who sit next to us on the plane or at Starbucks (or hospital waiting rooms) with the same kind of kid gusto. How pathetic is that?

What might your life look like right now if you treated everyone like that little girl did when these two sisters crossed her path? One thing is for sure, it might make your plane rides go oh so much faster and you might just learn a thing or two about what makes that new person's dolls special.

Ripple On!!!

Steve Harper

P.S. I have just made space for five new coaching clients! Interested in putting the power of my unique approach to Rippling to work in your personal life or career? Drop me an email at and let's chat.


Steve Harper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jag said...

Your post really resonates with me today. I'd like to share a personal experience where I could have used some of that kid-like simplicity & ability to connect with "strangers"...

Back in December, I attended a 5-day course as part of an Organization Development Certificate program. It was the second module of the program and I had not attended the first one. Looking back, I estimate that I spent about 50% of the time dealing with feelings of belonging vs. not belonging to the group. It was HUGE! I felt like an outsider, although not one single person contributed to that. It was all of my own making. After a lot of honest reflection and talking about these feelings, I became willing (if not perfectly able) to let them go and engage in the course.

I had the pleasure of taking another module with this same wonderful group of people last February. Re-connecting was a joy and I honestly wondered what all the fuss had been about initially. During this second course, I was given powerful insight into my perceived need to belong: it was an illusion. This need was a label I had outworn and I became fully willing - and able! - to let it go. And that I did. What freedom!

Although as an introvert, I still find it challenging to go into a situation full of strangers (it takes so much of my energy to do that), my attitude is different now. Thanks in part to your celebration of rippling and connecting, I now go into these situations with more openness and less needy-ness.

Today, I started a third 5-day module with this group. I am so grateful for the connections I have made there... I am learning a lot that is job-related, yes. But the personal/spiritual growth I'm experiencing through these connections is quite unexpected. I can only call it "gift".

Our ability to connect is what makes us human. Our willingness to connect is what enriches that humanity.

Thanks for sharing a story that proves that teachers come in all sizes...

p.s. I'm happy to hear that your mom's surgery went well!

Steve Harper said...

Jag my friend what a great story and I so appreciate you telling it. I too am an introvert and suspect that is why I now do the things that I do. Because if I can do it...anyone can do it!

I can so relate to your story and know that I have been in many a situation where I missed opportunities because the limitations that were placed on me weren't by others but by myself.

We can all enjoy real freedom when we find that day of realization and decide (and it does take deciding) to do something different.

I am so honored that you would share your experience with us!

Ripple On My Friend!


P.S. And thanks for the comment about my Mom. I do believe this has been one of the longest weeks of my life but it is ending on a good note!