Perhaps against majority’s opinion or advice, we love talking to strangers. On our TR journeys large and small, some of our best take away moments are the conversations with the few people we have met along the way. We do talk to strangers regularly and we encourage our kids to do it, too!
We recently stopped for a quick lunch at a favorite local chain. As we were leaving, TRMom was suggesting to the kids that they make a stop in the bathroom. An elderly gentleman was sitting nearby and he interjected, “That’s some good advice!”
Rather than ignoring this unfamiliar man or giving a dismissive smile, we struck up conversation with him. We shook hands, introduced our family, and chatted for a few minutes. As we were leaving, he declared, “You should have my card.”
Tip: There is a huge difference between talking to strangers and heeding the whims or demands of strangers. We would encourage you to teach your kids how to recognize this subtlety and judge for your own family what works best.
Allowing ourselves to engage with others only enhances our experiences and our connections to the world. We are all so isolated already thanks to Facebook, Snapchat, Texting, etc. These apps only give the illusion of connection. We don’t want our children to miss out on in-person, every day interaction with another human being.
Humans are social animals. We talk to each other and hopefully, we make connections. If you only speak to people in your immediate circle, you severely limit your life experience. So we chat people up when in stores or walking down the street- everywhere. We encourage our young ones to introduce themselves and to share their thoughts with others.
We meet so many interesting folks this way: the Korean War vet, the self-taught artist, the long time resident of town. We’ve heard many stories from many people. We encourage you to give it a try. Talk to people and listen to what they have to say. Who knows who you’ll meet next?
They might just make your day. Or you just might make theirs.