You just never know…

…what one simple act might lead to.

The other day I received a message through messenger that totally caught me off guard. I don’t use the social media tool regularly and I don’t have notifications turned on for it either, so I literally just happened to stumble on the newest message in my inbox.

And here is what I received (edited to protect personal info just in case the people involved would rather not be talked about in my blog…everything else has remained the same):

“You were a part of a recent lunch conversation, Doctor. And I will never forget how you convinced a sassy 17 year old named ********* to pull herself together and to get to officers orientation (naval ROTC) one fateful weekend in 2007. And now you may or may not know yet, but Admiral *** on the USS ******** has asked Lieutenant **** AKA *** to serve as his aide. Thank you Jason for knowing what to say and when to say it and how to inspire. You inspired so many, and I for one will fondly remember you always in that light. Sincerely, ***….*** mom.”

I was moved, and inspired by this woman’s words. I realized that I was just doing my job back in 2007 while serving at UC Berkeley as a naval ROTC instructor and advisor. Perhaps I went a little above the call of duty. Maybe another person in my shoes would have given up on trying to persuade a young student from getting her butt to orientation.

But now 12 years later, almost to the day, I get a message like this. And I ended up writing a book about things directly related to moments like this.

And what I did not tell you is that the Admiral was a prior boss of mine when I was still flying in aircraft that would get shot off of aircraft carriers. He has been a mentor of mine since 2007. He wrote one of the recommendation letters that aided me in my pursuit of becoming a physician. And I have no idea if he even knows that his new aide was a student of mine when she first put on the navy blue and gold as I have not talked to him about it yet. It’s pretty wild when you really think about it. That hole six degrees of Kevin Bacon thing actually makes sense.

So don’t let moments pass you by. Make every one of them count in one way or another. You never know what might just happen.

One thought on “You just never know…”

  1. In the three years you were her instructor at ROTC, you did far more than convince her to get off of her butt. Your mentorship and attention saved her from losing her scholarship and kept her motivated to continue in the program, even after several large speed bumps threatened to derail everything. Without your giudance all those years ago she would never have become the best version she is today. She thanks you sincerely, from the bottom of her heart.

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