Trouble averted

I was once talking to two colleagues at work. We were standing in triangle, taking up part of a corridor between cubicles. As we were chatting, I saw out of the corner of my eye that someone, S, was coming towards us. I saw from her body language that she was distracted and impatient, and I realised that she was a few steps away from crashing into my colleague M, whose back was turned to her. Without interrupting our conversation, I stepped forward and slipped my arm around M’s shoulders and pulled her into a one-armed hug, stepping back to give S enough room to push past. M, this sweet 60-year-old lady, was a little confused but gave me a cuddle, and then we stepped apart and kept talking like nothing had happened.

The only person who saw what happened was someone at a distant cubicle, who came up to me and said “Smooth”. I smiled and said nothing. It was perhaps the best application of Wu Wei that I have ever done.

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