Serendipity JohnManley Hopkinson
I was recently in the beautiful city of Dublin to work with a truly international team of leaders from a multi-national organisation that I had been working with for some 5-6 years. It is a great company that has been through much change but has continued to thrive and grow throughout. I helped them create their core values sometime ago (that’s another blog)!
On this occasion we stayed at and ran the workshops from a central Dublin hotel. It was three full-on days. No respite, no rest. The days started early and did not stop until the final day was done. Even the evenings were choreographed to aid the development of the team as we faced the arduous tasks of a Guinness Brewery Tour, a guided historical walk of Dublin and the delights of a few of her finest restaurants and taverns! Relentless!
But as happens too much to be healthy actually, I could not allow any time before or after my sessions to get to know and enjoy my host nation as my schedule at the moment is “hectic” to say the least. No sooner had I finished my last session, then I would have to grab a cab and rush to the airport and fly on to challenges new.
The support team of this organisation are brilliant and could not be more helpful. So they had organised a taxi to be waiting for me at 14:00 outside the hotel to take me to the airport. Pre-booked, pre-paid, life could not be easier – thank you “The taxi will be waiting for you, the driver, John, knows where you are going”!
I stayed until the last moment, grabbed my bags and rushed outside. Sure enough the taxi was there. An older, slightly scruffy chap in a worn cardigan stepped out to take my bags. “Hi John” I said. I received a smiling reply and, once sitting in the front seat, I was assured by the license stating that indeed, John, was my driver.
It was an extraordinary journey. We enquired of each other’s health and John asked my trade and the reason to be in his fair city. What followed took my breath away as we held a deep and insightful conversation about mindfulness, beliefs, cultural transformation, meditation, behavioural change, India, the Dalai Lama and Compassionate Leadership. At every twist and turn John was my intellectual equal and possessed a knowledge and depth of understanding that astounded me.
“What’s your story, John”? “Oh nuttin, my son is a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and me daughter an Occupational Therapist – and I read all ‘der books from university. I meditate – Indian mantra and Buddha’s my mate, “tat’s all”!!
As we spoke so I missed two calls from Irish office of my guests. I called them back. They were worried as John, my taxi driver, was still waiting for me at the hotel!
I was in the wrong taxi!
Serendipity John enriched my life. The upside? A beautiful and illuminating conversation and hope for mankind.
The down side? It cost me 25 Euros and a copy of my book!!
Thank you John!