This I Believe

Henry - 49705, Michigan
Entered on October 24, 2007

I talk to strangers.

Recently I talked to this lady who worked at a gas station. I was mixing up my special coffee for an all-night-er of college homework. There was the lady getting a new pot of coffee on and there was me wearing my black trench coat and beret with a half made cup of coffee. We stood there, both not talking; she was doing her job and I was doing mine. She looked tired, so I made the comment that it looked she could use a cup herself. From there we went to when she was a college student and how she got stomachaches by drinking too much a coffee and how she now only drinks herbal tea. Funny thing was that that night I got a stomachache from all the coffee I drank.

The worst part about talking to strangers is that very first sentence. It’s scary, awkward, and I always make an idiot of myself. It doesn’t matter how many people I’ve talked to; I always make an idiot of myself. I just had to stop caring. The thing is that after that first sentence the conversation gets easier and more interesting. I find that the more I talk to strangers the easier it is to talk with other strangers. I believe talking to strangers is important because it has killed my fear.

Talking to strangers is a great way for me to wake up. I become a robot if I repeat the same thing too long. By having a chat with strangers, I actively engage my brain on something outside the norm. I find that my days go better if I engage it with a conscious mind. I believe talking to strangers is important because it wakes me up to the world.

I believe talking to new people is a way to look at myself. By talking to strangers I am forced to view other opinions and become more aware of my prejudices. I’ll admit that I rarely talk to people who wear popular or expensive clothing because I think they’re shallow. This assumption makes me shallow for I’m judging them based on their looks. With this in mind, I try not to discriminate who I talk to. I’ve noticed that through talking with strangers I have opinions on topics I’ve never thought of. I also realize that my opinions vary more when I hear different people’s opinions. I have become much more open minded. In fact, I believe that the only way you can get to know yourself is to “open” your mind and step out and have a look at yourself from the outside. I believe talking to strangers has made me acquainted with myself.

I believe talking to strangers is the first step in the journey of becoming the person I want to be and maybe picking up a few friends on the side.