When was the last time you actually asked a question or gave an answer to a complete stranger?
When was the last time you actually had a conversation with someone new?
This week I’ve met a lot of new people through starting a new job. I’m trying to remain open – but beyond getting to know co-workers and other employees. I say hi to people I walk past on the street. That’s not life-changing, but I live in a large city where that doesn’t usually happen. I walk past a lot of people: running errands, walking as a commute, and just exercising outside. There are so many people avoiding each other on a daily basis. We don’t look strangers in the eye; we wear earbuds to avoid hearing others. We use our phones to distract us from the present. And sometimes we need that. Sometimes we need the distraction and the isolation. But usually, we’re just avoiding other people – strangers – and the possibility of connecting.
This week, I went from stranger-status to friend. It started with a question about a bus and led to a 45 minute conversation while riding that bus. A complete stranger and I had many connections and intersecting interests. And I would’ve have known any of this if I decided to actually read the book I brought instead of speaking to the person sitting next to me.
Are we afraid to talk to others? People aren’t strangers if you take a little time to get to know them. I hope to be able to afford a little time to give to others. To really listen. Or at least to acknowledge when walking by. I hope to remain open to all the possibilities and people that walk around us each day.