A long time ago a friend of mine was in trouble. Nothing serious but she didn´t know what to do. So I listened and asked her a series of questions as regards her problem. All of a sudden she said “got it! Thanks”. I hadn´t offered a piece of advice, I hadn´t found the solution, yet she thanked me. Years later, she was in trouble again and she came to me. Once again, I listened, asked her questions and she was the one that found a solution. And she thanked me again.
When we finished our studies, I didn´t see her again. Nothing in particular, just life I guess. It´s been more than 20 years since the last time we saw each other.
The other day I ran into her. It was a nice surprise! We didn´t have time to go for a coffee or something so we chatted in the street and tried to catch up in half an hour. She asked me what I was doing and was surprised to learn that I was working for a company and that I hadn´t pursued any field related to our initial studies. She said that she always remembered me and had imagined that I had gone into psychology or counseling or something like this.
I asked her why and she said she always referred to me as “her Socrates”, the girl who always guided her to find an answer on her own instead of giving it to her. She said that I had helped her more than any other person because she had learnt how to ask herself the right question and had profited from that skill throughout her life.
Imagine my surprise!! I didn´t know what to say. We waved goodbye. I took the subway and I couldn´t help but thinking about our little actions. And how our little actions can do either harm or good to a person without us being aware of it. . I never thought at the time that I was giving somebody a long-lasting lesson. I´m just glad that my little actions had a positive outcome and not the other way around.