I once got invited to Lunch by a female colleague (senior colleague) who wanted me to feel welcomed as a new guy in a new country. For perspective sake, most people in her cadre would not invite junior colleagues to lunch but she was different; humble, a good listener with a good heart, friendly and beautiful. The definition of Beauty and Brains.
During the Lunch, we got talking about a range of issues. Firstly, we both wear babyfaces (lol); we look 10years less than our ages. We spoke about family, career, fun things we love to do and many other things. Honestly, it was my first lunch with a female colleague and I was grateful for the invite.
Then I derailed the Lunch; at least from my perspective. I didn’t get the chance to ask my colleague how I fared but my conscience told me I behaved badly a little bit. If you are thinking I became immoral, sorry ooo, I don’t do that. Being too inquisitive can be an asset sometimes, but it can also make you insensitive if not handled very well.
I found out that my colleague was divorced but she has healed. I had always wanted to talk to a person who found the courage and strength to move on after a painful divorce and here was my chance. Very insensitively, I started asking questions about her past in a probing way that would have hurt anyone. That was the textbook definition of “selfishness”; honestly, I did not realize it in that moment but when I ruminated on the whole episode, I was sorry for my actions.
The lady was gracious; she told me how she was initially devastated and what she did to find the courage to move on. I hope she writes her story someday to encourage other ladies to find the grace to progress with life after such a painful event. Hmmm, it is a man’s world out there. My hope is that more men get to understand the need to take care of good-hearted women when they are lucky to have one.
Back to my insensitivity; there are times we inadvertently take advantage of others. It happens to the best of us but once we realise it, we must be internally remorseful and possibly find a way to make it up to our “victims”. I made effort to get a second lunch with my colleague but we could not agree on a particular time; so unfortunate, I could not get a “do over” to clear my conscience (lol).
The good thing for me is that I learnt a lesson from the episode. I will always remember to put my inquisitive nature in check whenever opportunity presents itself. I will ensure to be sensitive to the plight of others, even when they say that they are comfortable discussing the subject. I will never turn a friendly lunch to an interview session (lol; even when I may not get another shot for the interview).
Lastly, the most important lesson is that due to my fixation on knowing more about one aspect of her life, I missed the opportunity to learn more about the information and life’s lessons she could have provided to me on other matters; that opportunity to learn may never be regained. That’s a food for thought.