Confusing title? May be. It is like: ‘why do we do what we do.’
We meet many people. Many times randomly. Few of them become best friends, few of them enemies, few of them acquaintances, one of them may become spouse, and few of them we just forget that we met.
Why do we meet certain people in our life?
What’s the big deal, you may ask. Please try this now. From your best friends list, just think for few seconds how you met each one of them. I am quite sure you have met at least one of them so randomly that there was every chance that you could have never met that person. Yet, you met that person(s) and became best friends.
Often times I wondered, is it a random process that we meet the people we meet or there is something mystical about it exists that we cannot fathom. I would be lying if I tell you that I understand this. Sometimes, I feel it is completely random without any meaning. But there are times, when I realized that there is something really more meaningful in every meeting with a stranger.
Have you ever wondered sometimes that what if you had been to a different college than the one you attended? A different school. A different workplace. Would you be the same person as you are now? Definitely not, is my answer.
It is inevitable that the people we meet influence our lives to some extent. May not be completely. But every personal interaction has a role to play in our lives either directly or indirectly.
Do you know how Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple met? They were introduced by a mutual friend, Bill Fernandez, when Wozniak was 21 and Jobs was 16 years old and later went on to found Apple Inc. What if they never met? From what I understood reading Steve Jobs biography, it is very clear that they truly complimented each other in skills and that helped Apple in the initial founding years. They met and they made history. Who knows what would have happened if they never met? May be, Bill Gates would be the happiest and a little more richer person in that case. And may be, we still be using the old music players instead of sexy iPods. We never know.
I think a personal example from my life will help me convey my thoughts more clearly. I had been to Isha Yoga Center for a three week program in Coimbatore in May 2009. There were thirteen other people who came to participate. Many of them told me they had been planning from a long time to attend the program. As you know, three weeks break from daily life is not an easy thing. Few of them were planning from a couple of years while few of them were planning from a couple of months.
So, what made all of us attend at the same time? Does it sound silly? There must be some people and so there were, is a simple explanation. But, give it a little thought and we understand that it is neither silly nor simple.
I met few inserting people there who in few ways influenced me. What if they attended the program at a different time? Will I be the same person I am now if I haven’t met them? Well, I am hundred percent sure I will not be.
Let me take an example once again to articulate my point. I met a Dhrupad singer there who was one of the participants. Though I respect Indian classical music, I always thought what is so great about learning to sing Sa Re Ga Ma for years. After few interactions with that singer, I realized how difficult is it to even sing a single note perfectly. She taught me the basics of swaras. Even in my wildest imagination, I have never dreamed of learning Indian Classical Music. But a couple of hours of learning there overwhelmed me. I now know how much hard work and commitment it takes to become a good professional Indian classical music singer. In my life I will never think the same way as I used to think before about singing.
I also learned from that singer what it means to be passionate about something we love and what it takes to be passionate.
I met one more person who is a COO of an event management company in Mumbai. I learned many things from him and I attended a classical music concert because of him for the very first time in my life. That is something new and absolutely because I met him. May be, I could have attended in future without meeting him even, but who knows future. Was it really a coincidence that he was there when my interest in classical music aroused? The company he works for organizes classical music concerts all over India.
Well, you might ask, whats so great about all this? Show me what you gained. Well, I gained a lot, but most of it is intangible.
My question is: what if I have never met them? One visible thing for sure is, I would have never known the basics of swaras. My interest in classical music would not have been aroused, who knows may be forever. Now I have decided to learn some classical Indian music in my life. May be not now or may be now. But I am sure I am going to learn at some point in my life.
Not only with the above two incidents, I could easily recall few other incidents where I met people so randomly and they have become a part of my life and influenced me in one way or the other.
I am almost convinced that the people we meet have a role to play in our lives and it is in no way a random thing. Everyone we know now was a stranger at some time. Absolute stranger. Even best friends were strangers once.
Has this happened to you? Have you sometimes thought on the same lines? If yes, I would be happy to hear your experiences. Please use the comments section to share your thoughts.
Well, have you randomly stumbled upon this article?