A couple of weeks ago, Yair posted about a chance encounter that we had with two guys on a second floor patio in Boulder. We had just left Pearl Street Mall and were walking back to the RV when these two guys called out to us and invited us up to have a beer. I was ambivalent – particularly because I was supposed to be showered, dressed and teaching at the local synagogue within an hour – but we found ourselves skeptically walking up a flight of stairs to meet this friendly pair of strangers.
I learned that any time this guy, Tommy, is on his patio and someone walks by, he invites them up for a beer. Tommy is the only guy in the area who knows virtually the entire neighborhood and he shared his philosophy with us: Imagine a bunch of sparks bustling around that never collide. Most of us go about our day-to-day lives only interacting with close friends, family and colleagues. But what about the rest of the world that you are missing out on? What about someone absolutely incredible that lives just down the block who you will never meet because our culture doesn’t encourage or often allow for spontaneous interaction?
On a similar note, during my recent trip to NJ, my ride to the airport didn’t come through and I ended up needing to take a taxi to the airport at the last minute. I was a bit stressed from the short-notice airport rush and I wasn’t planning on making a new friend, but – perhaps out of politeness – I made some small talk with the driver. The small talk turned into an awesome conversation and my driver Dan, who is around my age and went to a local high school not far from my own, shared with me stories of his Syrian family and his hopeful acting career before we traded contact information and I popped out of the car.
Most people including me don’t have the energy to open themselves up to meet others on a regular basis. But the effort is totally worth the outcome when you do – both because of the people you meet and the person you become.
posted by ayo