Sunday, April 15, 2012

Monday Mantra: Make New Friends

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Make friends out of strangers

I was recently reminded of the awesomeness of strangers.

The other day I was on a return flight home when the woman next to me started up a conversation. For whatever reason when I fly, I don't usually chat with the people next to me. Mostly because I'm usually asleep or engrossed in a book, but neither of these things deterred the woman sitting next to me. Not that she was being rude- no. She was just punctual as to when I was awake and available to chat.

As we sat there, Pat (as I would come to know her) told me about the book she was reading, her two daughters, and shared stories of her visits to Africa. I also came to find out that Pat is a well known neuroscientist who travels all over the world giving lectures on all brain related topics. Fascinating, if I say so myself.

We talked and talked and as we sat there getting to know each other, I caught myself wishing the flight could be a little longer so that I could learn even more about her. She was sweet, funny, and brilliant, to say the least. She was charismatic, caring, and quick. Pat was the best airplane friend I had ever made.

As the flight ended and we said our goodbyes, I wondered just how many other airplane friends I have maybe missed out on over the years. As friendly as I am with most strangers in general, being on an airplane is one of the times I just zone out into my own little world. But, had I totally zoned out this time, I would never have really met Pat. I would never have given her the chance she so rightly deserved.

Now, I'm not saying we all need to jump on a plane and start up a huge conversation with the strangers next to us who may or may not be trying to sleep. No. What I'm saying is that sometimes you find friends in places you least expect them to pop up. That stranger next to you might be more awesome than you could have ever imagined and might just have some of the best stories you've ever heard.  Sometimes that stranger could add value to your life, without you realizing it. And sometimes we just need to talk to strangers, regardless of what our parents once taught us.

What it all really boils down to is this: Sometimes we just need to give people a chance to become a friend instead of a stranger. Because sometimes, well, sometimes those people are remarkable.

Related Posts
Conversations with Strangers
Strangers...are kind of awesome sometimes

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