It was a few weeks back when I took my little cousin out for a stroll and he wanted to take some candy offered by a stranger. The stranger? she was an old lady who barely could ever bring harm to a kid like him. But being the well-wishing guardian I politely rejected the offer from the woman and told him,”Listen, kid, You don’t talk and take things from strangers…”
While I was telling these exact words to him I realised how the definition of
a stranger changes from when we are 5 and how a stranger is when I’m 21! A stranger no longer is the violent person ready to pounce on you and cause some expected harm. A stranger was one of those shadows we watched in horror movies that could crush hearts and leave us bleeding.
It’s been a dogma in our society that strangers are dangerous, ubiquitously untrustworthy with ill intentions. But I guess I broke the law of a secure society a week back! I spoke to a stranger and now I wish to do more of that! Trust me, the featured pic is all that’s wrong with our perception towards strangers!! A stranger could as well be someone like this guy !!!
What changed the cog works inside me?
I realised that it is with a stranger that I felt my presence as a person is noticed, the stranger understood what I meant or at least faked that he understood which made me feel at home. I met this 60-year-old man on a flight to Kochi who sat beside me. He initiated the conversation and told about how he was afraid of flights but his son forces him to travel by air as he didn’t trust Indian trains.
Initially, I didn’t pay heed, but eventually, I empathised with him and I ended up relieving my heart out. I told him things I never tell anyone, neither my family nor my friends. I felt this sense of intimacy that I rarely felt called “Fleeting Intimacy” which I googled some time ago.
Why did I feel so open with a stranger?
Honestly, I didn’t give it a thought for a while. But I did it today as a part of my Daily Post on ideas and thoughts OBSESSIONS that I gave it a deep thought and came down to a few conclusions.
- I feel more understood by strangers, as every stranger out there has a story and they have one story that resonates with the happenings in my life.
- I could tell them anything without thinking about any repercussions and consequences because, Oh c’mon… When am I gonna ever meet them again?
- There are times when I expect things out of my family and friends to understand me because of a previously established relation. But with strangers, it’s easier as I don’t have any expectations whatsoever. I don’t have to expect anything out of a person whom I just met!
- Once being in relationships with either family or friends, it always isn’t possible to speak our heart out as I believe that I take into consideration the feelings of the person I’m talking to or talking about. Being humans we wouldn’t want conflicts right? Better not say something brutally honest or true right? Let’s beat about the bush and EXPECT them to understand it too!! But with a stranger, we can tell anything and talk anything! We can share even some insider jokes which are embarrassing to us and about the guy we’re talking about!
- Talking to strangers give you new stories that matter. New stories mean that you think more and sometimes through different perspectives. New perspectives mean newer ideas. Newer ideas mean new inspirations and aspirations which enrich our life too!
So what would I want to do about this?
Well, obviously, it’s simple! I’ll go out there and talk more, talk to more strangers!
I’ll try to give back what all they gave me! I’ll notice them as a person who’s existence is to be noticed! I’ll try sharing something intimate because we may never know, that could exactly be what the stranger may have wanted to hear! Some empathy perhaps!
So how do I go about it? First I put on a reminder in my phone saying “Did you talk to a stranger today?” and I shall speak to one. I will speak to one, because you may never know you may know something interesting which I could very well miss out that certain something if I didn’t try.
And most importantly, I’ll have to tell, All your friends were strangers at some point in your life too and trust me some of them have stayed on, be it the certain amazing person I met over Facebook who did something so exceptional that moved me so deep that I will talk about sometime in the near future…
Keeping these thoughts in mind I do implore you all to take that step keeping all your inhibitions aside. Talk to a stranger and see how different they make you feel. How special you feel. How relieved you feel.
And feeling relieved to have shared something with all of you… I shall sign off…
Good Bye…. Ta-Daaaaaa!!!