Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Never Meet a Stranger

It's been a busy week. Yesterday was full of tons of new people and talking (and playing for the kids). I was exhausted, and thought that my kids would be as well. Unfortunately, I forget that my oldest child is about as big of an extrovert as you can get. He was so wired up, that while he managed to go to bed and get to sleep at about 10pm, he was up at 3:30 and again at 6:45 when the garbage trucks came.

It's amazing how some people are so energized by new faces and others are so overwhelmed. I generally consider myself somewhat in between an introvert and an extrovert, so I wasn't expecting to be quite so exhausted yesterday. However, the sheer volume of new faces and activity left me physically exhausted. I felt like I bad parent, but I really couldn't deal with my oldest this morning until after I had my coffee (double strength).

I thought about my oldest child some while we were on vacation and running errands around town.
When you're around him, you can't help but respond to his youthful enthusiasm. I have a hard time explaining the concept of "stranger" to him, because he's never met a stranger. He's never met someone who doesn't respond to his smile or converse with him in a grocery store or on the beach or at the pier. He learns where people are from and tells them where he's from. He tells people his name and age and his brothers name and age. He opens the conversation from fishing to digging holes to China.

It makes me smile, and reminds me that there truly are very few "strangers" in the world. 90-99% of the people he starts conversation with will never harm him. And if someone ever tries to, the people around him will remember who he is and who he belongs with.

Rather than be so afraid of what someone else thinks, or so worried about the few bad people in the world, maybe we should all try to be a little more open to the people around us. Try it out for a day, assume that everyone you meet is someone you can converse with. See how it changes your perspective and your attitude about life.

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