The extraordinary often hides within the ordinary.
I am an introvert by nature. For years, I went through life completely content to have nothing but cursory conversations with strangers and recent acquaintances. Why should I strike up an awkward conversation with a barista or someone standing next to me at the grocery store? I spent far too much time staring at my phone, “connecting” with others through social media to the light of a backlit screen. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
I don’t know when it changed. It might have been at the flea market when I was discussing the history of a particular stone with a medicine man. It might have been my daily conversations with my local barista. It might have been the Vietnam veteran who bumped into me at the supermarket. Maybe it was all of these together. Something changed my outlook and I began to realize that many people around me were eager and willing to strike up a conversation and to share with me a bit about their lives.
It’s an interesting thing, talking to strangers. It pulls away the familiar lenses through which you view the world. It forces you to consider how someone else lives their life and how they got to where they are.
And the stories. I love the stories. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been blown away by someone else’s experiences and been left thinking, “someone needs to write that down.” Over time, I’ve come to believe that everyone has a book worthy story. Or two. Or hundreds. You can find it with a conversation which begins with a simple hello.
Stories from Everyday is my attempt to capture some of these extraordinary experiences.
Life is better with empathy.