“Do not talk to strangers”, our parents would tell the toddler version of ourselves. But as we grow up, they begin to encourage us to reach out to the same humans they forbade us to interact with early on. It’s simply a part of the natural order of life to make new connections outside of our homes. We learn to do this on the first day of nursery school, until we’re already old enough and more advanced with this skill to take it with us to the workplace, to business, to dating and romance.
Out of all the billions of people walking the face of the Earth, we will only get to know a few of them. And while it’s rationally impossible to even attempt to meet literally everyne, we’d sometimes stand at our own way in interacting with others. Some of us may breeze through initiating contact, but many still find the whole process anxiety-inducing. We overthink and have a lot of hesitations (at least at first) in making the first move, yet we are saddened by our perceived isolation, that nobody gets us, or ever will.
Even so, I get hopeful whenever I remember how we are at closer proximity with one another than we think. I was able to do so during my visit to the salon yesterday for my keratin treatment. Aside from matters that concern people’s hair in general (I have a habit of asking tons questions when I get really curious about something), Gigi (my hairdresser) and I got to talk about our lives. Along the process, I was able to know her better. When I got there for my treatment, she was just like any other hairdresser doing her job. When I stepped out and right back into the road with my newly revived hair having received some love and a second chance at life, she already wasn’t a mere hairdresser in my eyes: She’s also a single mother of three, a selfless and caring one despite of her below-minimum wage pay, a worker who spends 12 hours a day everyday to make a decent living, a person who eats much but wouldn’t gain a pound, a resilient woman who has made a lot of sacrifices to make ends meet. In between opening up about herself and knowing me as well were her insights and words of advice to me about optimizing opportunities and ensuring that my parents’ hardships in supporting my dreams will be worth it. Our exchange of thoughts also made me a touch warm inside, all because of my freedom and will to talk to a stranger.
What I’m trying to say is, since we only have one life to live which is apparently insufficient to see the world through each human being presently in existence, I find grabbing every chance we can to mingle an impelling idea. I just think that the more people we approach, the higher our chances of having potentially life-changing encounters will get. What if you find out upon leaving this world, that the man or woman of your dreams sat beside you in the train on a rainy evening and you missed out on him or her just because you thought twice about sharing your umbrella? How would you know without that first hi or hello that the person you will pass by where you happen to be at a certain time could help you re-discover the good things you forgot about yourself? How else could you meet your other needs and wants and be satisfied? Can you think of other ways to help others on their end, to be of service?
Although not every person we’ll meet we’ll get along with or be interested in us, still, there is no harm in trying. Brave up. Life isn’t short, but it’s not too long to dilly-dally either. For sure, someone out there is looking forward to meeting a person like you. It might also be just the thing you need.
In my case, Gigi gave me a look that made me more confident to face the world along with the other strangers that come with it, strangers I have yet to meet and discover for myself what makes them human beings.