All of my life I have sought out interesting people to draw wisdom from. Some of those interesting people were instrumental in my continual education in the school of life. Many of my “professors” showed me new and different ways to approach life; some taught me how not to live – based on their own egregious behavior; and some opened my eyes unknowingly, in a variety of ways.
Recently I sought out a man whom I had met briefly. I was struck immediately by his friendliness and down-to-earth approach to life. But that isn’t why I sought him out. He struck me as a leader and a thinker, and I never miss an opportunity to learn from people like this – especially one 20 years my senior.
Spence had given me his address and phone number and described in detail how to find him. My journey through the backwoods of Columbia County reminded me of the fabled climb to consult a Zen Master. Upon arrival at his country property, we engaged in a enjoyable, engaging, and emerging conversation. Throughout our conversation, I wasn’t sure if I should be afraid of his direction, or intrigued by his knowledge. I had this incredible urge to make weekly jaunts to sit at the feet of this man of many great thoughts. However…
There is something scary about someone who is continually telling you how smart and how tough they are. There is something disquieting about a man who sets him self up as smarter than you, even from the very get-go. There is something dangerous about anyone who believes they are right and everyone else is wrong. It was an enlightening conversation: I laughed, I received insight, and I wanted more.
But in the end, after some reflection, I’ve decided I have bigger fish to fry and more cliches to uncover. Still looking for that mentor/guru to be what no one else can be.