“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Several years ago, I spoke with a Peruvian woman who lived on one of the wondrous floating islands of Lake Titicaca about our hopes for our children. Like me, she wanted hers, who happened to be playing nearby, to have a good education and fulfilling opportunities in life. Before we parted, she asked to see a picture of my boys, which I was most happy to share.
Later I was reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s North to the Orient—the 1935 best-selling account of the famous couple’s 1931 survey flight from New York to Tokyo. She writes of an encounter at a stop near Kamchatka, Russia, where she met a Russian zoologist whose son was in Moscow, and another local. Somehow, communicating with snippets of words in at least three different languages and assorted gestures, they shared a quite similar moment. Asked to show photos of her son, Charles Jr., Anne writes, “When I left, my boy seemed nearer to me because they had seen his picture and had talked of him. Perhaps the zoologist also felt closer to her boy, for she gave me a letter for him, to post in Tokyo.”
These are the moments when you realize the lovely human connections taking place anytime and anywhere in the world. You realize these are the kinds of timeless international connections that can bridge cultures, foster art and innovation, stimulate global thinking—or perhaps simply produce positive feeling, the very essence of bonhomie.