The following is a guest post from a young woman named Lauren Glasser, whom I recently met (the circumstances of our meeting are contained in the post). Enjoy.
I’m not necessarily sure if the myth regarding rain on one’s wedding day reigns true outside the confines of a chapel, however, if events that occurred last week during a torrential downpour in DC are any indication of its transcendence – I’m a believer.
After attending the first government-sponsored TED event at the State Department last Wednesday afternoon, I emerged from the auditorium optimistic about the impending job interview to which I was en route. That optimism was instantly smothered by the pouring rain, which greeted me upon exit. Down in DC for the day from Manhattan, I planned the contents of my bag strategically, leaving no detail unchecked or without consideration…needless to say, I was disheartened by my failure to execute a relatively routine exercise — verify the forecast. Hailing a cab sans umbrella in my newly pressed suit proved to be a sufficient challenge. And just as I was about to call my interview and apologize for my imminent tardiness, it happened. A kind, umbrella-toting stranger motioned for me to join her in the cab she had hailed.
Sharing a cab is a truly generous act…that soon paled in comparison to additional gestures of my cab companion. Sherry Mueller welcomed me into her cab during a tenuous moment of urgency, offered me valuable and constructive interview advice, and proceeded to gift me her umbrella, all before departing at her stop within ten minutes of our chance introduction.
Perhaps I’m just a jaded New Yorker, but Sherry’s random act of kindness and generosity was truly overwhelming, sincere, and deeply appreciated. The impact of my chance meeting only served to solidify my faith in ‘paying it forward.’ Furthermore, after reading up on Sherry’s professional endeavors, the irony of our introduction and its ripple effect emerged. Sherry’s recently published book, Working World, encourages professionals to take an active role in shaping their career paths through extra-curricular initiatives/activities and relationships – a mantra to which I’m a committed disciple. What’s more is that Sherry acknowledges the critical nature of developing relationships that transcend discipline, comfort zone, and age.
I look forward to encouraging my peers and colleagues to seek out the ‘Sherry’s’ in their own world and not only as an exercise in cognizance enrichment – it’s important to be aware of, engage, and learn from those available resources. You never know when you’ll get caught in a storm without an umbrella.