While on the train today, an elderly lady gingerly glided into the seat beside me. We exchanged a friendly smile, and she offered me a digestive biscuit (I don’t know why they call it that, they are anything but easily digested). I took a piece, and asked her if I could take a picture of her hands, with the biscuit in it. Her offer of the biscuit was such an endearing gesture, that I wanted to remember it. I explained that I have a blog, and that I would love to share our exchange on said blog. She smilingly agreed, and then went on to explain to me that life was all about “being random, making time to laugh, and not taking yourself too seriously”. She also noted that she liked to periodically laugh when by herself. She suggested that on quite a few occasions she would remember something from an earlier time, and would then start to laugh out loud, in public. I told her that I had a habit of doing that too.

Coincidentally, upon speaking further with her, I also realized that I worked for the national office of the organization that she previously volunteered with. So, we also discussed and laughed about that commonality. Our exchange was short (we spoke for five train stops), but it was meaningful. After getting off at my stop, I thought about how the world could feel like such a large place. Though I was not initially keen on pausing to speak with her, I really enjoyed our brief exchange. And, while the world is indeed a large place it can feel so much smaller (and friendlier), when we take the time (and energy) to meet and meaningfully engage with others — however brief the exchange!

Related to This Topic:

Talk to Strangers: Danny Harris TEDXVideo


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