Share Your Story
"When I look into your eyes, I'm curious to know what do you see?"
You may remember a few weeks ago I presented information and research evidence which suggests that having casual conversations with strangers raises not only your level of happiness but it does for the person you have the conversation with as well. Remember? Did you try it with someone? I really hope so and if you did, I would love to hear about it.
One of my clients has had some amazing conversations with Uber drivers over the past several months and I’ve told her she should really consider writing a book because it’s just so amazing what you can learn or experience when you take time to really connect with a stranger and listen.
Our daughter Jenna had a business when she was in high school where she would interview people with a list of questions developed to prompt the best parts of their life stories. She would record the interview on video and then splice that with family photos as well as multimedia representations of major events in history the person had lived through to combine this into a rich presentation of someone’s life story which would serve as a legacy for the person’s family to have in the future. Her business was called “Reel Memories” and she had the honor of hearing some pretty amazing stories over the years she had that business.
Jenna put way more effort into it than it was really worth as an income source but the people who paid for interviews and the final DVD product often said it was something their families came to cherish, particularly after someone she had interviewed later passed away. I have a Reel Memories interview our daughter did with my mother and it is priceless to me now since that was made in 2016 and my mother passed away in 2019.
One of the best interviews Jenna ever did was actually the result of an address mistake where she rang the bell at the house of the wrong person which led to a conversation of why she was looking for someone who actually lived next door. The man at the wrong address who answered lived alone and had never shared his story about having survived the attack on Pearl Harbor at the start of America’s entrance into World War II. That man ended up hiring Jenna and the story he hired Jenna to record and document was truly captivating and Jenna says it was one of the most meaningful events of her life in those years.
Just as our daughter Jenna discovered, welcoming dialogue with a stranger serves as a gateway to uncharted territories of perspectives and ideas. While conversations with close acquaintances and friends have their merits, they often revolve around familiar topics and shared experiences. Conversely, a discussion with a stranger could unveil a new realm of fresh thoughts, beliefs, and outlooks. In the exchange of ideas, we could broaden our intellectual horizons, challenge our preconceived notions, or enrich our understanding of the world. Engaging in dialogue with someone unknown could bless us with the invaluable opportunity to break free from the mundane routines of our usual interactions while birthing a diversity of new perspectives.
As I’ve shared about researching findings before, conversing with strangers fosters empathy and compassion, nurturing the very fabric that binds us as humans. As we open ourselves to more sincere interactions with individuals we have no prior connection to, we embrace the inherent vulnerability of sharing our thoughts and feelings. In doing so, we cultivate a profound sense of empathy, really living the human experience. These conversations can bridge the gaps of misunderstanding and encourage a deepened sense of compassion, forging connections that surpass the boundaries of nationality, race, or culture. It could change the “us versus them” to a more meaningful and rewarding “we.”
In a world often overshadowed by superficial interactions and fleeting connections, the value of a deeper discussion with a stranger should not be passed by. Stepping beyond the boundaries of familiarity and engaging in meaningful conversations with unknown individuals, we unlock a wealth of intellectual, emotional, and personal treasures. These encounters broaden our perspectives, ignite empathy, foster personal growth, and potentially change our respective and collective paths in life. So let us embrace the unknown, lean into the depths of human connection, and rediscover the hidden gems of humanity that await us in the conversations we have with strangers.
You are the only YOU on this planet and you’ve had experiences and developed perspectives unlike anyone else in this world. It would be so awesome if you would take the time to share something more intimate or meaningful about yourself with someone new you encounter this week, and how courageous of you to do that with a total stranger or causal acquaintance!
Let’s build some community and make our part of the world a better place! I hope you’ll try it and I hope you have a great week!