Everyone Has A Story.
Interesting People Everywhere.
It’s easy to forget sometimes that everyone has a story to tell if we take the time to listen. We are so accustomed to hearing the stories of people in the news that we sometimes lose track of the fact that the random stranger on the bus also has a fascinating story about where they came from and how they got to be where they are. The sheer variety of paths taken in this world, from farmers to CEOs to homeless people to world travelers, is indicative of how much we can learn from each individual. Sometimes the shy, quiet person at work has the most amazing life story and the biggest dreams, it is up to us to take the time to find out.
Some people travel a path of wealth and privilege, while others struggle with only themselves to rely on, and both have great stories to tell. Each person learns lessons, makes choices, and develops a unique perspective, which only they can claim and share. Even two people who have had very similar lives will have slightly different experiences, leading them to a different point of view, so each person remains a treasure trove waiting to be explored. When we take the time to ask questions and listen, we find that every person has a fascinating story to tell and an utterly unique perspective from which to tell it.
Bearing this in mind, we have the opportunity to approach the world around us in a new way. There is never any reason to be bored at a party, or on the bus, or in a conversation with a stranger. When we retain the spark of curiosity and the warmth required to open someone up, we always have in front of us the makings of a great story. All we have to do is ask.
Reaching Out In Our Insular World.
Making New Friends.
As we navigate our way through life and literally move through life, we sometimes lose touch with what it is like to have a sense of community. Back when we were children things were easier - like making friends. There was no worry about whether somebody liked you, it didn't matter, we accepted everybody for the way they were; there was never judgment, we didn't know any different. As adults, our brains sometimes get in the way in our decision making process of who we want in our sacred circle of friends, our community.
Making new friends as an adult can be difficult. Some of us have had friends since elementary school, but as with a lot of things in life, we grow and move in different directions than our current friends, and that's ok, it is a part of life. But having friends and a sense of community is very important, we all need somebody we can count on, we all want to feel a safe place to land.
If you would like to create community in your life, here are some suggestions.
First you need to get out and about where you can actually meet people. Perhaps volunteering somewhere, accepting an invitation to a party that you might not have gone to, or maybe meeting the people in your neighborhood. In the 21st century you can meet people on-line in community groups. You may be surprised how many other people out there are looking for new friends too.
Next you need to take action and invite people to be your friend. It may sound silly, but most people are very insecure and if nobody takes the lead you will be back where you started. So be brave and put yourself out there. Take this advice from Alfred Tennyson: "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." This could be applied to friendships as well.
After you have established your new friendships it needs upkeep just like any other relationship. Nurture it, give and take equally, be respectful, let it blossom.
"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile...it's the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship." - Ralph Waldo Emerson