Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's all a matter of perception...

You don't know me. No really, you don't. We may have been friends for a number of years, but you don't know me.

My co-worker Colin and I at work 01/apr/09

If you really knew me, you would have noticed what was wrong in the above photo. Were you even looking closely the first time?

O.K., let me give you a closer look:

Now you see it right?

We have been friends for so long that you come to our relationship with a preconceived picture of me in your mind as well as preconceived notions about who I am. When was the last time you looked at me? When was the last time I looked at you? You have baggage with me and I have baggage with you too.

When was the last time we actually talked and heard each other? The last time I remember running into you, you gave me a sound bite in the hallway and I threw one back at you as we went on our way....

How come we never went out for a beer on Saturday night and just talked?


This all started out as an "April Fools Joke", then it became something more. I learned something from you today. I learned that sometimes we all have to be prompted to look past what we think each other looks and feels like before we begin to understand each other. I'm as guilty as you are.

After all, I sent that sound-bite right back at you didn't I?

"Mia culpa."


When Colin and I decided to do this yesterday, I had no idea it would have this affect on people. I had no idea how it would affect me. I was standing there in front of the mirror thinking to myself:

"I am taking a chance here I might not want to take; what if something goes wrong? What if my feelings get hurt?"

Of the 500 or so people I came into contact with during the course of my day, only 7 people noticed without being prompted. 3 of them had been warned the day before, 2 were Colin and I , and only 2 people actually noticed on their own!!! Several people were warned the day before and completely missed it! If you read my "New Years Resolutions I could live with." and forgot -- missed it double !!!!

At one point, one of the department managers walked up to Colin and asked him: " long did it took you to notice that Mark O'Brien had only half a mustache...?" Colin just smiled and waited... I was standing on the other side of the stockroom. After a ten-count, the manager burst into laughter, pointed at him and said: "You were in on it too!!!!" It was beautiful! (I wish I had it on video!!!)


So what have I learned today? What have I learned this "April Fools Day" during Lent just a week before Easter? Have I learned anything I can drag along with me through the dust on my walk to Calvary?

I learned that I have been neglecting to really pay attention to you. I learned that I need to try to hear you and feel what you are saying to me.

Who knows... I could be your favorite flavor of Gummy Bear and you might be my Lindt Lindor Truffle with white chocolate shell, cocoa pieces and smooth white filling!

How would we ever know? How will we ever find out?

We need to put down the baggage and try to get to know each other, or we may miss each other completely....