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Cherish the People

I recently spent some time going through old business cards. Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Trusted Information Systems… Companies that were once giants in their industries – now gone. Their technologies no longer discussed except in circles of old folks (like me) reminiscing years gone by. The act of discarding these cards felt somehow like I was closing the final chapter of their very existence.

In a world where LinkedIn has become the electronic business card used by most people, I still felt compelled to hang on to these artifacts. Not for the contact information (that was long out of date), but for the memories that each card had left behind. Each person that I did business with or simply met at a conference has influenced me in some way. Whether it was a simple nugget of information provided by an acquaintance or an introductory meeting with someone that I have built a relationship with throughout the years, those cards represent people that have made me who I am today. For some odd reason I felt like I was throwing away a piece of them and wondered how LinkedIn could possibly replace the paper I held in my hand. Even so, it was time to move on and I continued with my quest.

Before committing each card to the trash, I took a moment to reflect back on those relationships. Some of the names were no longer familiar to me. Notes quickly scribbled on the backs of cards no longer made sense. I was reminded of people I had forgotten and wondered where they were today (I had better look them up on LinkedIn). But as I tossed the last card into the trash, one thing became abundantly clear. Companies and technologies come and go, but people stay a part of you forever.

Discard the cards, but hang on to (and cherish) the people.

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  1. October 31, 2012 at 3:57 pm

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