Say it!

I found out on my Facebook feed that a teacher I loved in High School had died.

I tend to think of my old teachers as flies, frozen in amber.  I have aged, but once I left school, time stood still.

That turns out to not be the case.  If she was, as I suspect, in her 50s when I was in high school, 23 years ago, well - you do the math.

Anyway, another teacher, Mrs. S posted that Mrs. R had died.  And a friend of mine, who is friends with Mrs. S shared her post.

So, even though I'm not friends with Mrs. S, I sent her this message:

I saw your post on Mrs. R and wanted to offer my condolences and share a memory I have of you both. 

In Spring of 1993, I was a senior in her European History class. They had speakers come in for a Career Day talk, and because her class was so small, we went to your room across the hall. We had a few guys from Coca-Cola, and when Q&A time rolled around, I asked, "So how prevalent is the good old boy network at your company?" They said they weren't familiar with the term, and Mrs. Russell said, "What she means is..." and proceeded to lay it out for them. 

As we were leaving at the end of the period, you stopped me and I was afraid I was going to get in trouble for getting mouthy in your classroom. Instead you simply said, "Good for you." and let me leave. So, thank you. I am sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing - she was a special lady.

She replied, thanking me for sharing a "great memory", and agreeing that Coca-Cola is totally Good Old Boy.

So, I'm glad I took the leap and messaged her.  She encouraged me to friend her to keep in touch.

My point here is, reach out to people and share times when they did something that mattered to you.  I have never regretted doing it.  I have regretted not doing it.

About a year before I started this blog, I sent a letter to the guy who owned the company that I worked at all through High School and college.  Thanking him for years of gainful employ, and for creating the foundation of my work philosophy, and asking him for career advice.  He was touched and offered to chat any time.

People love to know that they have mattered somehow.  I got a handwritten thank you note from one of my former co-workers on his last day here that I treasure.  It has gotten me through more than one bad day at the office.

My advice.  If you feel something; say something.