People will surprise you, especially those who you would contend are quite different than yourself.
And through being surprised I recently learned a new word. You can see it in the title above. While I come across words every day that I have never heard of or read before, this particular one — MaLaCoiD (the capital letters have nothing do with the word, but more with the story I am sharing) –piqued my curiosity. Merriam-Webster defines the word as such: having a soft or mucilaginous structure or texture. And now you are looking at this blog post and wondering, what is Jason talking about today? Don’t worry, I contemplated this myself.
My children have two very special friendships that they created during their elementary school days in California (throw in their friends’ little sister and that makes three friendships). Those friendships have persisted despite being over a thousand miles apart. And when we recently had the opportunity to meet up with those friends all the children picked up right where they had previously left off. And I finally had a chance to meet their father (we technically said hello and shook hands at a kindergarten graduation previously, but it’s hard to say that counts).
I had heard he was quite smart when it came to computers and he created himself an opportunity to work from home, which enabled him to do so in his underwear or MC Hammer Pants (I have provided a picture in case you were wondering what these so called pants are).
And yes, he was wearing said pants when I shook his hand and said hello this time around. They were of a different variety, but they did indeed look quite comfortable.
I soon learned I could learn a thing or two from this man. I would not be able to wear his pants at my place of employment (the military is not that progressive), but I knew there was more to his story.
Thanks to his 9-year old son, as I was watching over him while he was spending time with my own 9-year old daughter, I learned some fun facts about his father and those facts really got me thinking.
I asked him what his father does each day and he simply said, “He is an internet plumber.” I retorted with nothing more than, “What?” He then told me that he works for a company in the IT world, and receives phone calls and messages to fix people’s computer systems.
He then said, “My dad wrote a book like you. It’s even on Amazon. But it’s not a real book like yours. It’s titled MaLaCoiD, which is a name he gave to himself after randomly picking it out of a dictionary.” I chuckled (in truth I fell out of my chair) and I then started my Google search. And that is when I learned about MaLaCoiD.
I saw several images. Some resembling someone that looked like Bill Gates. Another the image of a father who would likely understand what it means to truly relax and just be a kid with his children, and then the “oh my, this guy is a crazy weirdo.”
I began to learn the story. I learned about purchasing an Aspire, converting it into a livable space, and driving over 16,000 miles around the country following a band called Phish (and several others). All of this before children of course.
Once I was around him again I asked several questions. I learned so much about him and at the same time so much about myself. About how he had never taken a drink of alcohol in his entire life because of his father being an alcoholic and he not wanting the same thing to happen to him — we shared this sentiment. And there was so much more.
Have you gotten caught up in a single way of thinking lately? Have you caused yourself to fall nose deep into some of the great untruths of life such as labeling people one way or another? Have you turned your head from “different?” Is there something you’re curious about? Then what are you waiting for?
Commit to being “curious” again. Open your eyes and see what you want to see, not what society or school or your parents or your friends have told you to see. You may just have a new friend looking right at you.
I hope you learn to see what is actually there.