I was on my way back from Spokane, Washington, and on the flight to Chicago Midway I happened to sit next to a lady who was reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. After a nice conversation with her about the book and our interests in it, I came away with a fresh realization of how much the book changed my life, not only philosophically, but in my career as well. Had I not read it in college, I would have never got into the computer industry, as I was anti-technology back in the day, which was before the Internet (and Windows!) existed. Computers back then were still very expensive and very underpowered. Today, anyone who knows me would start laughing incredulously if I said I was anti-technology at one point, but believe it or not, it’s true.

Food for thought — what’s the likelihood that I wind up sitting next to someone on an airplane who’s reading a book that I’ve read 5 times, sent me on an 18-month deep-dive into Zen Buddhism on a quest for enlightenment, and profoundly affected my thinking on a both a philosophical and technical level??

On the connecting flight back to Buffalo, I sat next to a lovely couple who were in their late 20’s or early 30’s and are engaged. We talked about a number of things about travel including earplugs for long flights. At one point I was quiet and she asked if I was all right. I noticed how the genuine caring in her voice was almost startling, and it made me aware that I sometimes do the same thing to people because I genuinely care about people too.

More food for thought — how often do you get feedback that teaches you something about yourself, and perhaps more importantly, how people might perceive you?

Two lessons in one day is a good day indeed. I think the spirit folks can arrange these “incidental” happenings, and teach us certain subtle lessons even though they appear to be relatively mundane events. I’m not a person who is overly-eager to attribute things to the spirit folks, and I don’t get blown away every time they do something. Even so, I would consider these events as being spirit-orchestrated. It’s nice to know that they have a hand in things.