Jul 132009

Dr. Earl R. Smith II

It may be a strange question to ask – but why aren’t people more human? You would think it would help them to succeed – be in their own best interest.


Today I had a very strange experience. I attended a networking event and found myself sitting in a corner talking to a long-time friend. He had his back to the crowd and I was able to watch over his shoulder. As I watched, something started to bother me about the scene. It took a while to nail it down but I finally figured it out. One person was ‘working the group’. A young CEO who had asked me to help him with his company was moving through the crowd. In the hour or so that I spent watching him, I realized that I never saw a truly human connection between the CEO and anybody in the room.

I remember an engagement with a similar CEO some years earlier. As I broke off the engagement, I told her “you have to find a non-instrumental reason that other people are on the planet”. Her presumption – and the CEO’s that night – was that other people were just props in the drama – a drama that was all about them.

As I transferred my gaze back to my friend, I quietly gave thanks for the friendship that had grown between us.

© Dr. Earl R. Smith II

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