I have been to many countries with my travel buddy, Ross Hill. We have been together on the back roads of Africa, in the jungles of Latin America and on high speed trains in China. It is fair to say we are passionate about doing what we can to try and make a difference when given the opportunity to interact with those we meet from around the globe. But never have I laughed so hard as I did recently during one of our Giant Experiences’ Values Leadership Forums in China.
Let’s just say Ross was center stage and had the room in a roar. It was not so much because he is known for his comic routines but because the interaction between he and his interpreter had the room in stitches.
Public speaking is challenging enough but especially when in front of highly educated business leaders from one of the world’s most powerful nations. The pressures and tensions are high to say the least.
You had to be there to truly appreciate it, but as Ross shared a point from his speech, there would be an unusually long pause between the spoken word and the interpretation. The rhythm soon got out of sync as east met west on stage.
The interpreter was trying his best to keep up with Ross and Ross was trying hard to accommodate his understudy with patient persuasion.
The interpreter began to express his playful frustration in an effort to get his interpretation absolutely right.
Ross, in his attempts to assist with the cultural divide, got tickled. That is when the whole thing unraveled and the room came alive with uncontrollable laughter.
Seeing a robust American banker in total loss of control with giggles and belly rolls of laughter in the midst of a serious talk about the world’s economic crises, was all it took to push the audience over the edge! It was out of control and everyone loved it! The China chuckles were loose and the forum reached new heights of friendship and enthusiasm.
I have often heard that a smile in any language is smile. For certain was the case during my recent journey to the far east with my dear friend. Life is to serious not to have some fun along the way.
Thanks to Ross, and our unsuspecting interpreter, the world was a brighter place, if not for a little while, on that otherwise very normal day.
If only the world could catch a case of the China chuckles, then, for sure, the world would be a better place!