During our childhoods, we grow up thinking that our family and friends will have the biggest influence on our lives. From an emotional support point of view, that may be the case. However, for the truly momentous moments, where your life can change direction in an instant, the difference between scaling the heights and falling into the abyss can sometimes depend on (near) total strangers.
To start with, I would like to give you my definition of a stranger. My view is that it is someone that you have not spoken to before. You may smile at them on the school run, you might exchange glances in the office or you may regularly “like” their blogs on LinkedIn. You are aware of them, but you don’t know anything about them. That to me is still a “stranger.”
As soon as you strike up conversations (however brief), then in my view you are no longer strangers. You can’t say that you are true friends, but you have shared a part of your lives with each other. You may talk about your common love of “Game of Thrones” with the girl in the print room, you might support an online contact in their job search, you might invite the new guy for lunch to make him feel welcome.
There are opportunities to touch strangers (ever so slightly) every single minute of every single day. It is your choice whether you take those opportunities. Yes, touching someone’s life requires effort. Yes, sharing something of yourself does not always feel comfortable, but do you know what, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
The thing is; you never know who is destined to play a role in your future….
If you are a kind and open person, you will draw people into your life. If you are fair and honest, people will come to you for advice. If you have a positive and infectious attitude, you will make people feel good about themselves. I firmly believe that the more you give, the more you get….
One day you might need someone’s help. You won’t ask for it, but they will understand and they will give it freely. You may not even think that it is them who can help you, but they will do it anyway. The girl in the print room might introduce you to your future wife. The online contact might refer you to the biggest client of your life. The new guy might be your future business partner. You never know.
If you make the tiny effort to turn strangers into “not strangers”, then every single one has the potential to make your life. If they stay as strangers, then they might break your life because they don’t care about it.
Open your heart to this amazing world and all the people in it.
Don’t be a stranger.
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