I found myself very inspired and moved by this short TED talk by Karen Walrond on seeing the beauty and finding connection in other people. (I totally have a crush on her now. She's crush-worthy.)
Her 1000 Faces project, showing the uncommon beauty of regular people, is worth some time, too.
I was on BART the other day, coming back from San Francisco at 6pm, right at rush hour. I followed a woman onto the packed train, and a flower dropped from her hair. I picked it up and gave it back to her, and we had that moment. You know that one? Where you talk to someone, just for a few minutes, and you get them, and they get you too. I'm pretty convinced we could all find more of these, if we looked. In the fifteen minutes we spent speeding under the bay, we talked gardening and shoes. We compared her kids to my cats (her kids buy her more birthday presents than Digit buys me, I tell you what). We bonded over tuberoses and gardenias, burying our noses in the flowers she was carrying. She gave me a sprig of jasmine from her hair and wished that her plant was in bloom already, as ours is. She touched me on the arm at least five times, that You know? Right? touch, and it was so lovely, as she was.
Of course, people on the train (the ones not wearing earbuds) stared. We were obviously strangers, but we were laughing out loud at each other's jokes, grinning at each other in delight. Those who weren't staring at us kept their eyes on the devices they were holding.
I'm usually a device-holder, too. I hate being that guy, but I like to read a book on my phone on the train. I like to check Twitter. I like to send texts. I really like to not have to eavesdrop on annoying half-conversations people have on their phones (I'd rather eavesdrop on both sides if possible). But how many flower ladies do I not chat up? How much light am I not seeing? How many conversations between stations (converstations?) am I missing?
Food for thought. Tell me your most recent nice random encounter?[Book recommendation: I'm reading Jerusalem Gap, and the voice is amazing. I can't stand for it to end, and I'm only half-way through. Dog lovers, this one's for you.]
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