I was fortunate enough to attend the American Marketing Association’s 37th Annual International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans (that’s a mouthful). The weather was humid, the food delicious, and the conference was full of excitement and inspiration. My buddy and I participated in a marketing strategies competition where our pitching skills were put to the test for a new product on the market.
Although the conference was awesome, the people I met were by far the best part of the trip. I met students from Illinois that were jealous that us California kids didn’t have to endure 20-degree weather. Students from California State Long Beach were amazed we were only a 3-hour drive from San Francisco. I guess living in Fresno isn’t so bad after all!
What truly struck me were the people waiting at a bus stop everyday we walked past our hotel room. The look on their faces were straight and emotionless. Many looked like they just got off of work or had children bouncing on their laps.
While I was walking Bourbon Street or the French Quarter, I couldn’t imagine that at one point there was enough water there to cover my head. The same building I was taking a picture was once torn apart from 140 mph winds. Maybe the same people at the bus stop were once sitting on top of their homes pleading to helicopters for help.
I was once researching the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and stumbled upon this video of a man named Hardy Jackson who lost his family during the storm. The video can’t be described other than heartbreaking. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/S68ksghDNg4
What I’m getting at here is that people are people where ever you may live. It’s fascinating to get to know someone at a base level without any pre-judgments. It’s fun to be open-minded because you’re more likely to be an optimistic person. And optimism in your life is always a good thing. You can’t be afraid to learn something new, because it just may be the best thing that’ll happen to you.