People like to tell me their stories. Seems like I’m a good listener. And they tell in the most awkward moments. Opening the door for someone, they say thank you and then they go on with a reminiscence of their childhood. I wait for the bus and people start talking to me.
Today, I just smiled to the person next to me at this nice café and I find myself in a conversation. In a short time, I know all about her childhood drama, difficult young adult’s years, other traumas and circumstances. I just listened.
I don’t know where writers get their material for stories, but talking to strangers is one unending sources of inspiration.
I found this quote by Felice Leonardo Buscaglia (also known as “Dr. Love,” he was an American author and motivational speaker, and a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California.)
“Most of us remain strangers to ourselves,
hiding who we are, and ask other strangers,
hiding who they are,
to love us.”
Isn’t it interesting? I think that the moment we start to live true to ourselves and express love for people without limits, boundaries, reasons and points of view, it all starts to make sense. It was so natural for this lady to talk about herself, to cry and share with me. It was also very natural for me to listen and be with her.
I want people to feel safe around me, not having to hide, not having to put on a show. (I can be a jerk sometimes too. I’m not keeping myself off the hook. But I know how to clean up a mess after I’ve done it.)
I am the most fearful person of others. I sufferred from agoraphobia in my early twenties and I strongly believed that other people where only there to “get me”. I’ve come from very far…
Yep very far…. Now strangers talk to me like we’ve known each other forever.
To test if you’re a good listener, talk to strangers.
To test the extent of your love and compassion for other human beings, talk to strangers.
To know how true you are with yourself and your soul, talk to strangers.
We share a lot in common with our fellow human beings, and we spend a lot of our time speaking to the same people, in the same protected world we created for ourselves. To know yourself and the world, talk to strangers.
Smile to strangers, if it’s the only thing you can do. We don’t always have the time to listen.
With great respect!