Everyone Has a Story to Tell

By Engr. Carlos Cornejo

Almost everyone feels that their opinions are good, otherwise they would not share them with you.  From each person we can always learn something we don’t know because each one is unique and unrepeatable.

Adam Grant says, “Learn something new from each person you meet. Everyone knows more than you about something.” You are not in another person’s world so when he or she shares something from his or her world it’s worth listening to because it surely is something new.

Whether that person is a president of a company or one of its janitors, we all can learn from their unique points of view.  One of the destructive things that many of us do sometimes is compare someone else’s opinion to our own.  And when it doesn’t fall in line with our belief, we either dismiss it or find fault with it.

It is said that we don’t have enough time to experience everything this world can offer.  God helped solve that by having others who can share their experiences to us.  We can learn from the successes of the other people as well as their failures.

You don’t have to try out addictive drugs for example to find out that it’s not really good for you.  You just have to hear the horrible stories of people who succumbed to it and have regretted getting hooked with it.  It’s also the reason why some people write books.

They want to share their experiences, good ones and bad, that we could learn from.  That’s why it’s good to read many books because it’s like knowing many other people’s personalities from different places around the world.

Knowledge is a game changer in our lives and there are only two main sources of it, books and people.  Charlie Jones said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

We can learn from the simplest people that we meet.  From a gardener of a technical school where I used to teach, I learned that he has a unique instinct of knowing danger is coming and that he had to flee from it right away.  He was once in a bakery in his barangay, and suddenly he felt some anxious foreboding telling him to leave immediately.

And true enough, there was a brawl that happened among loafers who were there, just right after he left.  He said, it’s God’s way of steering him away from danger.  He said he always prays to God to keep him safe.  From a taxi driver, I got a good lesson about marriage and fidelity (from a story told by a priest in a homily, when this priest rode a taxi).  This taxi driver said he would know right away by instinct, if the couple riding in his taxi sitting at the back are married or in an illicit relationship.  He said, married couples have special intimacy unmarried couples don’t possess.  And those who are in an unlawful relationship would always appear uneasy.

When the priest asked him, “Would you be in an unlawful relationship too someday?” The priest was trying to find out his opinion on marriage.  He replied “No way Father, I can’t betray my wife.  She is very kind to me and to our kids.”

It’s a lesson on a good wife makes a good husband.