A decade ago I was quite fortunate to have met a great, smart man. A great visionary leader. He was a bit of a mentor to me and I strove to learn as much as possible from him. In a way, I became the passionate advocate that I am thanks to him. Everyone told me how, even though, he was great when I met, he had been even greater before. Long before I met him. When I got to know him, it was during the twillight years of his life. He was a bit in cognitive decline. But he was still brilliant. He still had vision, lots of it. And, while I may have disagreed with him on a few policy issues, I learned to think through policy issues. He was an influencer and had an impact on me. Sadly, he passed away within five years of my meeting him. There was so much still that I could have learned from him. There was still so many more laughs we could have shared.
Within a year of having met him, I remember wishing that I had met him when we were young. And, I was reminded of that when a similarly named song came out this past year.
There are always people who you look at and feel like you missed out on something in life because you didn’t meet sooner in life. Such a feeling can totally bum one out. Funnily enough, I watched a rather odd movie duirng one of my Netflix binges. Well, that’s not the funny part. I caught this movie starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, called “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.” The world is about to end and people just don’t know how to react or live out their final days on earth. [spoiler alert] The two main characters randomly meet each other and develop a friendship and romance during the last week of the world. As the world ends, they are in each other’s arms while she laments not having met him sooner in life. He tells her everything had happened exactly as it was supposed to. This was their time and while short, it was a rich experience and relationship. I didn’t care much for the movie. But in my mind, I coupled that life movie lesson with the song by The Revivalists. We meet people when we meet them. And, it is in that point in time in which we must live.
This past year, I met another individual who is most definitely in the later stages of their time on earth. Not that they will pass anytime soon. That I do not know. However, people constantly tell me that this person is not as sharp as they used to be. And I shrug my shoulders. See, whether I had met this person this year or 20 years ago, my reaction would be the same. The person is not a nice person and I do not believe that would have been different 20 years back. Thus, I need not have known that person back when they were young. People come into your life at the moment they were meant to and that is that. Enjoy or not that person in that moment in time. There is no rewind. There is no fast forward.