I've been spending a little more time with my bus drivers, my receptionists, my baristas. I have been taking a little more time and engaging with them on some level, and it's paying off in some weird way. It's hard to say specifically how, but I actually feel more engaged and active as a player or contributor in my life. I'm finding little things happening --- smiles, advice, free stuff. Yes, even free stuff! Engaging with people on a personal level gets you free stuff!!! And it only takes a real smile and about 4. 2 more seconds of your life.
My mom is queen of this. She talks to everyone! Engages with everyone! She asks how their day is going, calls them by their name, embarrassing me endlessly along the way, but maybe she has something. People engage back with her and quickly become little mini-friends. I like this idea --- mini-friendships! And all it takes is awareness and kindness.
When I practice this philosophy, I feel as if I am living more honestly and creating more meaningful interactions with strangers. It makes life less about getting from point A to point B and more about the HOW and WHO. It's more about the proverbial journey. It's like treating people as new immediate little friends, not strangers, not just necessary steps towards something.
Blogger Matt Ramos writes on Tiny Buddha: "It’s an empowering mindset to be able to create conversation with potentially anyone...Through my experiences, I learned that people are usually friendly and happy to talk to you." Indeed. It's these moments that fill out our day to day lives and create potential and connection and ultimately satisfaction.
Actress Shirley MacLaine says "Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends."
So, today, maybe give up the fear, or the hurry or the attitude and be more like my mom. Engage with someone with whom you made eye contact or with whom you are having a transaction with. Be present with a smile or eye contact or a simple greeting. Be ready and generous with your full self and see what happens.