17 January 2011

The Road Scholar - Day 17

Noel, MO is where I find myself right now, though I would have been long gone IF I had any control over it. Unfortunately, I am at the mercy of Tyson (yes, THAT one). This is one of those customers I least enjoy dealing with (the other being Wal Mart, which I just so happen to be delivering this load to). It's not the ground level employees that are a hassle, but the corporate level "geniuses" which set the policy. Well... I'd better not go there just yet, it would only kill the buzz of what had started out as a splendid day, for which I shall elaborate...
I have been dabbling in Twitter for about 1 1/2 years now, first starting out with not a clue about how to work it (am I the ONLY one who started out that way?), and having 0 followers. After a week or so I was able to acquire about 40 followers, many, I would discover later, were "bots" (and if you are reading this, no definition is needed, as you are tech savvy enough to know what a blog is, let alone a bot). Over time, I would come to follow, and be followed, by many people, if only on a virtual realm. I have seen some incredible things take place via Twitter: people transitioning their relationships from virtual to real life (by way of a "tweet-up"), awareness and support of world tragedies (the disaster in Haiti being a prime example), even a "tweet-up" meeting that has led to a marriage ( @iamwhite & @dallasnagata - both of whom are very deserving of each other).
I have been fortunate enough to interact with some people who feel comfortable, and trusting enough, to open up to me very personal details of their life - which I continue to hold in the strictest of secrecy (you know who you are). A level of trust I DO NOT take for granted, as, sadly, we live in a world where it's difficult to know who to trust. During the past 1 1/2 years of tweeting, I have met three of the people I converse with... well, 2 actually, as 2 of those 3 are married, and one of which is a silent participant of twitter (but he's still a very cool person, with a personality that ranks on the level of noble). The first person I met is a working artist, with great talents, known as @artbynemo (check out his work at http://artbynemo.com ). For over a year, he was the only one I met from Twitter - until today.
After I finished the work I'm being paid to do, and getting cleaned up (gotta make a good first impression, right?), I met up with @LauriRottmayer (she has a really cool blog at http://rottitude.com/ ) and her husband, @drottmayer (does he blog?) - and before I continue, let me say... David, you are absolutely correct (and I'm sure you recall the topic of conversation to which I refer)! I am honored not only to have met these great people, who are both former Marines, but also because a motto I began using last year (Carpe Java = Seize the coffee) has become one of Lauri's favorite phrases.
Lauri and I (to use her words) Carpe-ing the Java
The three of us enjoyed coffee at Denny's and engaged in great conversation, covering a range of topics. Interacting in the cyber world is one thing, but to put a real live breathing person to what otherwise would be a faceless (and, dare I say, soulless) exchange of words. This is why the world is a better place because of people like Lauri & David. People whom are willing, and trusting, enough to meet up with someone face-to-face. That is the type of interaction that could be in danger of slipping into extinction. We have before us some incredible technology that continues to grow at crazy speed, but let's not forget there are human beings behind the cyber chatter. To be able to forge a REAL interaction with others, face-to-face, is the epitome of "living life to the fullest." That we have almost forsaken such a precious gift... well, what would become of society in general should we slip that far?
So, to Lauri & David I say, thank you for your company today, and most importantly, your time. Even if we never meet up again (and I shudder at the thought) I shall always remember - and cherish - that you chose to give to me
something you will never get back - YOUR TIME. May G-d bless you both for that!

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