In a valuable, thought-triggering blog entry last week by Mitch Joel (President at Toronto & Montreal-based, Twist Image), he described a question he often uses that requires an avant guard-type response.

The question is:

What is the coolest thing you have seen in the past little while?

As Joel described, this type of question can help us better understand what people are most passionate about.

I read this article from my mobile on a bus ride to the airport, coming home from my vacation in Whistler, British Columbia.

Andrew in Whistler

I tried on the exercise – thinking about my trip, searching for what I thought was “coolest” about my vacation. I no doubt had a great time, from seeing old friends in the Village, to trying out new B.C. micro brews (such as Granville Island Brewing), to skiing Whistler’s beautiful terrain for the first time.

Despite the expected, the coolest thing I saw in Whistler B.C. was nothing but a simple exchange between a father and son.

After skiing one day, I walked onto the patio of Dubh Linn Gate, Whistler’s Irish Pub, and sat down at a fire pit with 8-10 strangers. I struck up a conversation with the two men beside me – Tim and Steven, respectively a father and a son.

The bulk of the conversation was between Tim (the father) and I. We talked about all things from Whistler, to skiing, to the World Junior Hockey Championship, to traveling, to business, to the differences between Ontario and British Columbia.

The conversation eventually guided towards Steven (the son) and what his aspirations were. Steven, who was maybe 16-18 years old, talked about what he saw for himself career and education-wise in the future. Although I was listening intently on what he was saying, what struck me most, was how deeply engaged his father was in what he was saying. Every time Steven spoke, Tim quieted down completely, not daring to interrupt and watched his son with complete pride and adoration, as his son described what was important to him. The way Tim viewed his son, there was a complete emanation of respect, care, and love that I could even feel.

Like nothing Steven could do or say would be imperfect.

Being around Tim & Steven for those 90 minutes warmed my heart and showed me the true love a person can have for another.

By far, it was the coolest thing I saw in Whistler, B.C.

Thanks Mitch for giving me the opportunity to reflect on my trip in this way. I think it’s not only a “cool” question to occasionally ask of others, but an equally important question to ask of ourselves.

So, what is the coolest thing you have seen in the past little while?

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Andrew Schiestel is the Chief of WOW! Projects at tbk Creative, a web design & social marketing agency that instigates and accelerates consumer action around brands. To contact Andrew about speaking at your upcoming web marketing & communications event, click here. Andrew can be followed on Twitter here.