If two friends ask you to judge a dispute, don't accept, because you will lose one friend; on the other hand, if two strangers come with the same request, accept because you will gain one friend....
Everyday before Arvid leaves home he says to me, "remember, no talking to strangers." Of course my answer is, "OK." I mean it's not like I go out of my way to seek strangers and start up a conversation, though Arvid sure believes this is the case.
I just happen to be friendly and I find it almost impossible to be in the same place with a stranger and not strike up a conversation. It's just in my nature, but when I am with Arvid I do my best to stay quiet and make sure not to make eye contact.
Yeah that's another thing, I love making eye contact with people and Arvid seems to think that this will one day get me in trouble. You see I sometimes make eye contact with the wrong people, according to Arvid of course. So far, I seem to be doing pretty OK and not getting into trouble as many have predicted I would. Hope it always remains this way because I sure have a knack for striking up conversations with just about anyone, and some of these people sure are "strange" Don't get me wrong, I am the first to tell all my little nieces and nephews to never talk to strangers...
Today, I was minding my own business for a change. Just browsing around the shops, doing my errands, and taking care of some chores that needed to be done. Being on a time schedule I was just rushing to get my stuff done and as I was heading out to my car a young man approached me and starting asking questions as to if I was in college and what classes I was taking and so forth.
I look at him and rather than say, "I am really busy now, so I have to go." I asked him instead why he needed to know all of these things. He says that he was doing a survey and that he saw me smiling all the time while I was in the store so he decided to test out his survey.
Of course we chatted. I was the one actually doing most of the asking and he was answering. To this moment I am still not sure what he was surveying, but we had a good conversation. For five minutes we chatted, laughed and we knew quite a few things about each other.
After a while he says to me, "do you think I would make a good motivational speaker?" I just look at him and said, "well it would not be for lack of not trying." Then told him I had to go and wished him luck in whatever it is he was doing.
Really don't think he was doing any survey. I had to remind him a few times that I was quite older than he was. he was probably 20 years old and he looked 18. Very cute and he tried very much to be convincing. I had a great time and it left me smiling and it was back to doing my errands but with a pleasant smile that lasted for a while.
It just goes to show that you never know what you will encounter during your day. Sometimes you see a stranger and some right away judge them. Me I see a stranger and I also see an opportunity to meet someone new, to learn something new and to experience a different outlook. Arvid says I am too friendly. I say you can never be too friendly.
Today many a "stranger" have become some very good friends. For instance when I met Liliana, Brutus' pet sitter, I was the one who approached her. Started up a conversation and next thing you know we are out having lunch and she soon became my very good friend.
I met another of my best friends in a doctors office when I lived in California. Though I was terribly sad for just having lost someone I loved deeply, she looked even sadder than me. I approached her and asked her what was bothering her. She also lost someone she loved. In the mist of a terrible sadness a beautiful friendship blossomed and continues to this day.
Me, I never miss an opportunity to strike up a conversation. You never know who you will meet and how that person can change your life be it for good or not, but the experience of discovering is always something I look forward to.
Here Arvid and I do not agree. He is very conservative and maybe I need to be a little more careful. I like people. Aside from a few, I have never had a bad experience and the time I have...well sometimes things happen and we just move on.
We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken...