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I Just Joined the "Woke" Crowd

Yes, I gave in. I decided it's time to be "Woke." No, not that "woke." I'm still not sure what that's about but this blog doesn't cover social politics, sides, etc.

I'm now another version of "woke" for several reasons. One, I tend to get up earlier at this stage of life. And it's not all bad unless you live in the Eastern Time Zone and are watching the playoffs when the fourth quarter starts around midnight. Oh right, that's where I live.

But getting up early helps me get more done, have real quiet time (and we don't have kids at home these days) and at least start one of those tasks I put on a nice-looking schedule but rarely do without some specific plans (i.e read, plan, think, exercise, dig deeper into a hobby or just have an unplanned cup of coffee).

And at my age, I would have to tweak the old coffee jingle line (you may need to be over 40), to read, The best part of waking up is, well, waking up.

Second, I'm enjoying being more woke because I'm trying to be more alert to potential, important moments and people with a need or concern that I might respond to. I don't want to miss enjoying the company, insights or privilege of helping someone who needs a friend in some moment. And yet many times, I would be potentially blind to an impacting encounter.

As many of you know, my Finding Dominoes book is all about touching one person, the first domino in a display that over time can impact many. Those first dominoes are everywhere but I know I have to practice being alert to them, not always riveted on my schedule, my plans, my well-being. That's what the book is all about.

For example, talk to people without being annoying. Ask them about their cute young child, the wristband they're wearing, a tattoo on their arm, how school is going or whatever.

You might be surprised at how many people will respond warmly and speak to you. If they don't, be pleasant and move on. However, sometimes we'll only get that one chance to help someone who does need a conversation and to know someone cares. We'll never know if we don't try.

Third, woke for me is not giving up on places and experiences where I have little interest or passion. But there are many settings where a brief encounter can occur that we never saw coming, even in that setting we'd rather not return to. We can be tired, around people we don't know or being ignorant of the specifics of the discussions.

They may be too technical or even in another language. Stay alert. It's those kinds of settings where I've seen the most impact through a connection I didn't anticipate or remotely plan on.

And summer is a great time for more unique, varied and special interactions and connections to take place and be open doors for out touching a person, a first domino who needed to be heard, understood and helped in some life-changing way. Seems like that would be a welcomed change in a world that's the same old, same old a lot.

So if aren't "woke" yet, grab a cup of "Folgers" (if you've forgotten the commercial) or whatever caffeine will help wake you up, and look for a domino to impact. It will probably start with a conversation, once you're really awake.


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