20 March 2014

Reach out and touch someone

Hello all, and yes, it has been a long while...

From the previous posts we have established that I write and love cooking, and this all ties in with passion defining us.
Well there is more - I design too.

No, this is not a 'look at me' post, it is merely a way of trying to get my message across. You see, I am blessed in many ways. Not blessed as in being extraordinary or extremely talented, but blessed in the sense that I am given opportunities on a daily basis to reach out and touch someone.

By designing I mean houses. Certain people want a brick and mortar structure, others want an investment, and then there's my favourite kinda people: those that want a home. You can spot them a mile away. They come in all shapes and sizes, cultural backgrounds, ages, and with varied lifestyles. The newly weds walse into the meeting with stars in their eyes, nervous as hell because this is probably their first step taken as a married couple, and with a blank expression of not knowing what to expect. Their excitement soon turns to elation when they realise that they actually have a choice. Then the ideas fly...
The rest vary from a couple having a vague idea, calmy asking questions while the wife gently rubs her growing tummy, to a family looking to finally settle in a place they can call their own. Each different, each unique...but by taking the time to listen to them they have been touched.

You have a chance each and every day to reach out and touch somebody.
The person that cuts you off in morning traffic because they are late after cleaning up after a messy baby may be doing so because their boss is from another planet, and if they do not arrive on time they could be suspended or fired. So before you give them a total rundown of how equally stressful your morning was, and this in sign language - smile and wave.
Or the girl working at the checkout that accidently rang an item twice at the end of her horrid shift of listening to customer complaints all day - smile and give her a break.
The same with social media. Ooh... I hear sighs filling your room as you read that last bit. Yes, there are people out there that can be extremely demanding and rude, some of them even let all the bots and apps do their talking and thinking for them; but there are those that just want to reach out and be heard - touch them.

And every now and then, while reaching out to someone, the strangest thing happens: a person turns around and touches you right back. It feels weird at first, almost like getting a response to a tweet or a FB post, but it's kinda cool.
When designing, you give ideas and try to interpret what the client wants, but when they give feedback you become a better person. One such client was tall, bald, and riddled with tatoos. At first glance they appear, in search of a better word - scary. Their attitude was firm and backed by a 'no bullshit' tone. This is like most people we meet on a daily basis. But where we think they are being rude, they are in fact just keeping everyone at a distance in order to protect themselves from exposing too much and getting judgement in return.

At first I was apprehensive to meet the 6'5" Harley biker. Tatoos ran up his arm and his voice demanded respect. Once we actually sat down over a whiskey, a side opened up that I didn't expect. Turns out the man was a blues guitarist with a heart the size of the US. The design went smoothly and through interaction, is probably one of my best to date. It was amazing how a simple gesture of reaching out effected my life.

So reach out and touch somebody, you may be surprised what you find...

Andre Weston
1952.09.29 - 2013.07.05
Biker, Bhuddist, Husband, Father, Guitarist and friend
Thank you for reaching out and touching so many