Our kids ‘discovered’ the joy of the library this summer when it reopened. They would have gone every day if they could. On the drive home they’d have their heads in books and often would finish a new book the same day we got it. We love seeing them read, laugh out loud about something, and interrupt us with some random fact or story.
Yesterday, while putting them to bed, my son said, “Dad, is there library where I can borrow a person instead of a book?”
“Mmm, perhaps. Who would you borrow?”
“Santa Claus. I want to ask him about flying.”
Borrowing a person. Imagine if you could ‘borrow’ anyone. Walking into a building and instead of books, there were people. And you could take them ‘out’. Perhaps not for weeks, but perhaps for a day or an hour. Who would you choose? Mary Angelou? Simon Sinek? Monty Don? Seth Godin? Julia Donaldson? Or perhaps a university professor? Your Grandmother?
It is a lovely concept and fabulous to imagine and dream. But here’s the thing. It already exists, just not through a library. We ‘borrow’ experts when we figure out how to do something on youtube, udemy, mastermind, teachable and so on. Some of us have coaches, mentors, wise elders we meet on zoom or in person. Sometimes we ‘borrow’ someone to provide extra help at home or at work.
So go on, who did you dream of ‘borrowing’? With a quick google, you may find them available.
Yes, what is available tends not to be the 1:1 conversation. And yes, that would be fun to be able to do with some people. However, most of us know amazing people in our communities, people with insight, wisdom, and fun. Perhaps we could start with ‘borrowing’ them? And just like a good book, the plot might not be what we expect. And we might just stumble into insight or learn a new skill.
Perhaps, like a good book, we might lose ourselves in the conversation.