Our lives are deeply interconnected. You never know which of the tiniest, most trifle encounters with others will ripple through your life and end up changing it entirely, in a kind of butterfly effect. I remember, when I was 16, I was helping run summer school organized by the management of the British high school I had the pleasure and honor to attend. Among my many duties was being – you may say – superintendent at the boarding house where all the summer school kids were staying. I met this nice, somewhat shy girl named Misha. We talked a little – very little – I don't remember what we talked about. Truth be told, I would probably have forgotten Misha if it wasn't for a message I received from her in 2010:

It feels like forever ago now that I'm about to graduate from college, but back then 14-year-old me was definitely thinking, "wow, look at that smart kid.  I want to go to an Ivy league school, too, one day."  Be careful what you wish for, indeed...

This is one of the few things that anybody has ever said that touched me deeply. I remarked on all the connections I've made with people in my past that have set the course of my life, all the words of wisdom I have received that helped me make the decisions that got me where I am today. To all those angels – many of whom I know and remember vividly, and many of whom have slipped my mind by now – I send my most sincere, humble thanks.

We are all standing on the shoulders of giants –  though in some cases, these giants are among us, people no different than ourselves.