Earlier this week, I was stuck in a queue on a couch at work, in between two friendly Googlers I’ll call Hanz and Gretel.
Waiting, waiting, waiting, with more waiting to come. There was a beer and baklava party downstairs, so I thoughtfully (I thought) offered to bring back both H&G some treats. Both, after a brief pause, smiled and declined.
I went, I saw, I brought back and ate while I continued my waiting with no Godot in sight. Shortly thereafter, Hanz went downstairs and brought back two plates… one for himself and one, indeed, for Gretel.
I was puzzled and frustrated, and unceremoniously blurted out, “But… but I offered to bring some up to you just a few minutes ago!”
In between bites, Gretel gave me a kindly but decisive look.
“Yes,” she asserted, “But Hanz actually brought me some.”
* * *
I’ve pondered this situation and dialog again and again over the past few days, and I think the lesson learned is a simple but profound one.
Don’t ask, do.
Applies to so many things in life, and often takes little effort but means a lot.