I had lunch yesterday with a man who just two weeks previous had been my adversary. His is an attorney, and he and his two attorney partners sat in front of me for two days of depositions lasting 12 hours in a giant lawsuit against me and my company. A court reporter was present while the 3 men asked me hundreds of questions about my finances and operations and taxes for the previous four years. The 3 men were trying to find "hidden" money that they could take from me, my family and my business.
They found no hidden money. There was no hidden money.
The lawsuit was frivolous, and this was implicitly acknowledged by 2 of the 3 men several times. But this did not keep them from pursuing me, my family and my business.
After the 3 men and I settled the lawsuit at the end of the two days of drilling, I walked to the parking lot. The man I had lunch with walked to the parking lot with me to my car and insisted on carrying the heaviest part of the two boxes of paperwork I'd taken to the deposition.
When we got to the car, he asked me to lunch one day. I must've looked a bit incredulous because he quickly said, "I've never met anyone quite like you. I've done hundreds of depositions and seen thousands of pieces of testimony and I've never seen anyone as confident and yet still nice, like you. I want to talk to you for a while about your Objectivism."
Though I was still upset about the deposition and the whole lawsuit, I agreed.
So we had lunch. At a steakhouse, where he picked up the tab, he asked me about every aspect of Objectivism. He poked and prodded looking for inconsistencies. He carried out my explanations to their obvious conclusions. He is a Catholic.
Afterward, he said, "I want to let you know that I have a profound respect for you. I had it at the depositions, and I have more of it now, now that I've met you personally. I still have my faith, but you've given me much to think about. I want to thank you for that."
And I want to thank Ayn Rand.