The gift of an introduction

Gift season has arrived. Every gift is an act of kindness and generosity, but now and then, there are gifts that take our breath away. Sometimes it’s the grand scale or overwhelming surprise, but more often it's simply the realization that someone knows you so well that they found the perfect thing, something you didn’t even know existed until you unwrapped it.

Of course, getting someone what they ask for (or what they’ve strongly hinted at for the past few months) is great fun, too. But it’s thrilling to introduce them to something unexpected.

The best presents are introductions, and the best introductions are gifts.

I recently stumbled upon two one-of-a-kind projects. The first a crowdfunded roleplaying game about language, the other a musical time machine that plays songs by country and decade. In each case, I immediately thought of Uncommon friends who were perfectly suited for such things. So much so that I hesitated to tell them in case I was embarrassingly late to the party. I led with caution—“I’m sure you’ve seen this, but just in case…”

But they hadn’t! In both instances, they had never come across it and were ecstatic. I hadn’t spent any money or wrapped a thing, and yet it felt as good as giving a gift.

I still remember the professor that introduced me to the philosopher I’ve been reading ever since, the friend who pointed me to these amazing pens, and the album review that made me listen to Leonard Cohen for the first time.

Above and beyond introductions to things are those unforgettable introductions to new friends, coworkers, and love interests. How many of our most treasured relationships wouldn’t exist without a well-timed nudge from someone who saw a possible match that no one else did?

Uncommon is a community of introductions. Many of you found your way to the front porch through a friend's introduction. Hopefully, you’ve since been introduced to new ideas, favorite things, perspectives, and neighbors as well.

During this season of gifts, may you enjoy the thrill of introducing others to undiscovered gems, favorite spots, and friends who will become part of their unfolding story.

And may others do the same for you.