The Things You Say in Casual Conversation

My neighbor walks his dog every morning and I sometimes catch him when our schedules coincide, providing an opportunity for neighborly casual conversation.  I haven’t seen him in a while, but he made my day today.  You might make someone’s day, too, if you consider what you say.

He asked if I was still working and I replied that I was.  He was referring to my business as we have chatted a few times about my departure from the university world almost two years ago.  I replied that I was still trying, to which he replied, “Keep going.  Persevere.”

I explained briefly that 2015 was pretty tough but that I was hanging in there.  “I’m hardheaded,” I said with a smile as a positive affirmation.  His expression changed as he shook his head.

“No, hardheaded is negative.  You have to be positive.  Persevere.”

He went on to explain how he had quit good jobs during his life, each time to get to trucking.  He had bought a rig after he left his first job after leaving the military.  “That’s all I ever wanted,” he said with an expression that seemed to be a mix of nostalgia and disappointment.  I recalled then that he had shared previously about trying to start a trucking business.

He is retired now, having spent some time in NASA-related work.

I can still see his expression and hear his honest advice when he said, “Persevere” and shared “That’s all I ever wanted to do…trucking.”

Take a moment to encourage someone today.  You never know if their hopes and dreams are hanging by a thread.  Be the one to give them a rope instead.

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