Have you ever wondered why some things happen? Like why do we meet the people that we meet? Why do we go to the places that we go? How is it that no matter what happens, things somehow work out for the best?
I can tell you this. I just finished having dinner with an old acquaintance, that I can now call my friend. I have had the privilege of working with this man for almost 6 years. Honestly, until today we had not had one non-business, friendly conversation. But, when given the news that I was going to be in the area for a night, the guy took time out of his schedule to give me a tour of Hershey and Harrisburg, PA (which is a lot more interesting than just a theme park and a chocolate factory I might add), bought me dinner, flirted insatiable with an amazingly attractive waitress that was more my age ... but I'll give her to him; and ultimately, over a couple pints of Guinness (on my side) and a couple glasses of $9 chardonnay, began to solve the problems of the world.
Why did we have dinner? The only meals we have ever shared before were crappy dining hall meals at Boy Scout Camps. Why buy me drinks? The only beverages we have ever shared are 20 oz. bottles of Poland Spring swiped from Larney's table at Alpine, or possibly some bug juice at the Alpo dining hall. Why flirt so badly with a hot waitress, when every other interaction has been so strictly professional?
I'll tell you why. It is because finally, after nearly 6 years, I have finally let my guard down. No more will I put someone I respect on a separate plane as myself. People appreciate being your equal, someone you can talk to, more than someone who you see as a superior or more important. It is far better to be friends, than co-workers or a Adviser/Youth relationship. So, for what reason did I have dinner with my new friend tonight? The answer is easy ... to learn the valuable lesson that I would much rather have a friend, than a colleague.