I wanted to share a story about assumptions. Mostly because it was a little humbling for me.
Last month, I was hiking with a couple of friends through the southern Sierra. Rather than taking our chances on a route over a ridge we didn’t know was possible without climbing gear, we hiked a long way down the Mount Whitney trail to head back up to Upper Boy Scout Lake. We were sitting a bit off the Whitney trail on the path leading to the lake when an older gentleman started past us. I waved and then said, ‘If you’re heading up to Mount Whitney, the trail goes the other way.’
He was kind in his response. ‘I’m going to Upper Boy Scout Lake. I think this is the trail.’ Indeed, it was. ‘Ahh,’ I sheepishly corrected myself, ‘yep it is. Have a great trip!’ I tried to make up for my having basically doubted his ability to get to Upper Boy Scout.
Immediately, I felt bad. Why had I thought there was no way he could be heading there? No doubt, if even to some degree because of his age. Sure, I understood the trail to be a steep, rugged approach mostly used by climbers heading up the burly Mountaineers Route on Whitney or to climb the airy east ridge of Mount Russell. Regardless, it wasn’t fair of me to make an assumption about this man’s ability.
As innocent as I intended my suggestion to be, it served as a good reminder: Don’t make assumptions, Thom. Put another way: Everyone has their own story.
I finally wore holes through my favorite pair of jeans. Those jeans were awesome. They’ll be missed. Despite how hard it was to move on, I finally broke down and bought a new pair of jeans. When I tried them on, I found that little tag in the pocket. I think that tag says it all.
I forget what I was going to write about this week. If it was important, I’ll remember what it was and share it with you later. In the meantime, I just want to acknowledge how awesome my wife is, and extend to you my hope that you have someone in your life who can tell when you’re overwhelmed. Who kicks you out the door to go for a run because they know you well enough that going for a run will help. She was right.
So I did. Up Castle Rock, then down Castle Rock. Along the trail to and from our house. She convinced me that instead of trying to plow through some work before doing some more work, I needed to take a breather and unwind on a run. The work could wait.
I guess my point this week is, ultimately, hoping you’ve let yourself be known. For being grateful when a lot of the news kind of sucks. For being sure to tell that someone how much you appreciate them when they kick you out the door.
Doris, Warren Buffett’s older sister, passed away this week. She was 92. At the end of the New York Times article about her life, Warren was quoted saying, ‘She really wanted her last check to bounce.’
I thought that idea was kind of cool.
I’ve written in the past about simplifying a message. How Warren would write his Berkshire Hathaway annual letters with his two sisters in mind. I’ve also mentioned in these randomnesses about Todd Henry’s book, ‘Die Empty.’ That idea about wanting her last check to bounce reminded me of that book.