A couple weeks ago, I was in Nashville with my younger son and daughter for an ice hockey tournament.  We had Sunday afternoon free, so we went downtown to shop for boots and eat barbecue.

As we sat down for lunch, I looked around the restaurant and said to my daughter, “I know that couple over there.” She thought I was lying, but after we ordered I walked over to the other table and asked one question: Are you by any chance from Clarendon Hills, IL?  They were.  I had been their pastor 15 years earlier. We chatted a few minutes and went on our way.

Later in one of the boot shops (There are one or two in Nashville.), I said to my daughter, “You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I know that guy.”  Now she really thought I was lying, but I went over and talked with this guy for a few minutes. I did know him.

I was in England when I was 16, and I remember talking with someone who, when he discovered I was from America, told me about another American he knew and asked if I knew him.  I asked where his friend was from, and he told me Montana.  Being from North Carolina, I laughed.

I don’t laugh anymore.

Someone tells me they went to Ohio State, I don’t hesitate to mention the name of someone else I know who went to Ohio State.  Someone tells me they vacationed in upstate New York, I don’t hesitate to mention someone else I know who did the same.  More often than not, it seems, we make some connection.

So what do I take away from this?

Behave.  Because you don’t know who might know your mom.

Actually, it’s more along the lines of, be kind.  Be kind.

Be kind. Because we’re actually all a lot more closely connected than you might think.

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