I was in a meeting with several men (what a shock! me in a room full of men). Several in the room were friends or friendly. One was not.
A friend and the one who was sharing his success story was asked where his boss was. He knew the general location but couldn't remember why. I knew and shared with the group.
My friend, chuckling, said, "That's you. You know us -- where we are and what we're up to."
And then to the group he said, "What's more she's great at telling our stories!"
The member of the group I was hosting and the one guy I've now deemed THE OBNOXIOUS ONE then said, "She has to. Without your stories she'd have nothing to say."
(I'm pausing for your righteous indignation to rise to the appropriate level. . . . There yet? I can wait. . . . Ok that should do it.)
My friend encouraged me to breathe deep cleansing breaths as I noted aloud my own outrage at such a socially inept commentary. And we continued on with the meeting.
Later I reflected on THE OBNOXIOUS ONE's remark. At first, I wondered if indeed he was right. Then I slapped myself and returned to reality. The man didn't know me. He had chosen, in the two days since he'd met me, to engage in less than 5 minutes of impromptu dialogue with me and had otherwise based his whole opinion of me on conversations he'd overheard or presentations I'd made. He never asked me a single question. He never said anything directly to me.
And he was the one who had begun the experience acknowledging that he lacked a dream.
I want to be EXTREMELY angry with this guy. But you know what? I pity him. He not only lacks a dream. He lacks joy. He lacks the beauty of seeing beyond the face of diversity and learning from its heart. He just lacks.
I also came to be so very thankful that I have the reputation of knowing the stories. For it's in the stories that life happens . . . again and again. And we celebrate . . . again and again. And I have the undeniable pleasure of being a part of all that. As a storyteller, I'm living my dream.