Sunday, September 15, 2013

lessons from Scott

A little over a week ago, I attended the funeral of a friend – a recent friend – who suddenly died at the young age of 41.  I was introduced to Scott Robinson about 18 months ago, and had kept up a conversation with him over that time that enriched my life…and the lives of others.  Scott was a connector, and he inspired me to connect him with others in my circle of friends and acquaintances.  The week he died, I received several messages that said something to the effect of “I don’t know if you heard, but since Scott connected us, I wanted you to know…” or “I just heard about Scott – thanks for connecting us.”  Those who spoke at his funeral kept referring to his love for people, his love for ideas, and his love for coffee (I think all of his meetings were at Starbucks).  As I have reflected this past week on why Scott had such an impact on many of us, I realized that he taught me a lot during a very short time.  Here are the lessons I learned from Scott:
  • Be a connector – Scott’s mission was to connect someone to someone else EVERY day
  • Everyone is worth a cup of coffee – Scott would meet with anyone who came across his path; it did not matter their title or status in life
  •  Embrace new ideas – the last time I met with Scott he introduced me to the concept of gondolas as a way of public transportation in the Austin region…really!
  •  Love your kids – Scott ALWAYS told me about his now 8 year-old twins and the adventures they would have together
  •  Expect great things out of people – Scott’s ability to believe in individuals and their ideas inspired me to do great things
  • Believe in the next generation – Scott was heavily involved in TEDx Youth here in Austin, an event that I hope will continue into the future
  • Embrace family – while not learned directly from him, his sister spoke of this at the funeral and was a good reminder to mend fences while you can
  • Be a dreamer – Scott always believed things would get better and was always looking for people who would work with him on making the world a better place
  • Root for the underdog – Scott was a big fan of the Houston Astros, even if they were consistently bad year after year, reminding me that even losers deserve our attention.
And so it is…I already miss Scott, and his memory will love on with the multitudes of people who knew him and whom he connected with others.  Several times last week I sat in my favorite Starbucks and reminisced about our meetings there.  I am a better person today because of having known Scott Robinson.  So TODAY, determine who that special person is in your life, get together with them this week, and thank them for the influence they have had on you.

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