A Good Reason To Talk To Strangers

I just read a very interesting news story out of Canada which reminded me of the wonderful, almost magical things that can happen when a person takes the time to interact with other people instead of just going about their business as usual. The story is about a woman who works at a store. She was at work the other day and when a customer came in to pick up his order, he said his name.

What happened next could have gone one of two ways. The woman who was working at the store could have gone to get the order for the customer, handed it to the customer, and continued doing whatever it was that they were doing before the customer had walked in. Alternatively, she could have chosen to interact further with the customer for whatever reason. In this case, the woman that was working at the store chose to ask the customer where his family was from because the customer’s surname is the same as her mother’s maiden name.

Of course, the result could have been that there was no connection and the conversation could have ended there or moved on to a different topic. Fortunately, this was not the case. There was genealogy magic taking place right then and there. As the two people talked, they discovered that they are distant cousins. Family history and contact information was exchanged during that five minute conversation that could not easily have been located in record books because her mother had moved to Canada from Newfoundland with her uncle, not with her parents. The customer turned out to be one of the uncle’s descendants.

As children, we are taught not to talk to strangers, and at that point in our lives that advice is best for our safety. Once we are adults, it is not only safe to talk to strangers but it is also interesting. You never know who you might meet or what you might learn from them. It is all too easy to go about your daily business while absorbed in your own thoughts, rushing from one thing to another, or multitasking by doing things while you are on the phone or texting. Occasionally, try to take time out to talk to the people that you meet as you go about your day. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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