This past weekend, one of my sons, two of his aides (B is quadriplegic and needs help getting around) and I had an amazing experience: we were able to go and meet over 100 people who B admires and who work in an industry that he wants to pursue after he graduates. Over three days we talked, ate, and laughed with people who do what he wants to do or are close to it. And they made it amazing. B and I are still sitting here four days later just shaking our heads and smiling at how much fun we had and how many friends B made.
As I continue to process the weekend, I was struck by what made the biggest difference to the four of us. Time and attention. Everyone we met was happy to give us a few minutes to talk. More importantly, they talked with B and asked him questions. The people who made the biggest impact were the ones who over the weekend gave a couple of hours of time. They sought B out to make sure things were going well and to talk with him. They sought out others to introduce to B – the sake of both sides. Throw in B’s two aides who could help people understand in a matter of seconds how B interacts with the world and that intellectually he’s all there in addition to helping B seek people out, and it was clear how much some time and attention could pay off. Continue reading