Friday night I attended a celebration/roast for a professor who changed the course of my life. He is retiring after 33 years teaching journalism at Trenton State College (can’t bring myself to use the new name in this context). It was wonderful to see hundreds of people turn out for a man who has gone so far out of his way to impart his special brand of wisdom and fire.
You would think after courting me into sports journalism, setting up an interview for me at a daily newspaper long after I’d quit college and encouraging me throughout my entire career, there would be little left I could get from Dr. Robert Cole. But Friday night I heard story after story about his availability to students when they needed guidance. One professor and former department head got up and told a story about a student who, when asked on an evaluation form the most valuable thing he had learned at the college, wrote down Dr. Cole’s phone number.
It made me think about my own availability to my life coaching clients and former clients. Has it been all that it can be? The same for friends and family. Could I be more available? Flexible? Sometimes people reach out at times that are less than convenient. How have I handled that?
The next day I was at my parents’ house waiting for my sister to arrive and watching TV with my father. I caught the end of a John Wayne-Marlene Dietrich movie with him. Then he grabbed the remote and stopped on The History Channel, where they were airing a documentary about the Scopes trial that was fascinating. Again, I fould myself questioning my own flexibility and openness. I would never have watched either program on my own.
Topping off the weekend was a spiritual revelation that came over me like a wave this morning. It is about abundance and gifts and how to receive with grace.
It was a whopper of a weekend.