A Beach Encounter

This past week I enjoyed vacation time on the beach. Our condo rental came with beach chairs and umbrellas.

One day Karen and I were seated next to a couple, and the man was, shall we say, talkative.

My idea of reading time was abandoned to listen to this friendly but intense fellow enlighten me on his world view, which was fascinating and foreign to me.

I was not able to add much to the conversation, except to listen.

But at one point, I suggested a course of action he could take using what I thought was a strength of his.

His wife sat up in her chair and said: “that’s what I’ve been telling him.”

He offered a reason, or excuse, as to why that was not a good fit for him.

I made a slight shift in the suggestion and his wife sprang back up and agreed.

He suddenly looked enthused and inspired.

Next, I explained why I thought he could succeed with that course of action.


Then he said I was his Eskimo.

I said: “I don’t know what that means.”

He explained that in recovery years ago he learned that an Eskimo is a person who can appear just when needed, show the way to improvement or an enlightening and then sometimes vanish, never to be seen by that person again. He said that in this situation, I am his Eskimo and he thanked me.

His wife looked pleased.

Later I googled the meaning of being someone’s Eskimo and found the story he told me about the person waiting on a roof to be rescued. You might Google it too.  It’s an old story I’ve heard before, and you probably have also, but it is worth revisiting. This was the first time someone told me I am one.

I don’t have any special insight into anything, especially this man’s situation. But, based on my experiences and interests, I was able to connect some dots and apparently offer some value.

I suggested a possible course of action. It would take a lot more knowledge about a person’s situation and wisdom to tell a person what they should do. I just suggested.

We can all do that.

Lessons Learned:
  1. Listen and be willing to share an idea, even with a stranger.
  2. Listen to advice from everyone, including strangers. They might be your Eskimo.

Those are my Take-a-Ways. What are yours?