In the Course of Human Events

John - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that life is full of spontaneous random events. I go about my days spending most of my time in worrying about only those closest to me and myself. The bigger picture is often forgotten. Then the unexpected happens, a chance meeting that can affect lives in some small way.

This happened to me when I met the owner of a local store, The Spice Merchant. I was selling advertisements for the school newspaper, which is a dreaded requirement for my grade. I stumbled in and asked if he would like to buy an ad, but he didn’t give me the usual “no, we’re not interested” response. He asked me to tell him why he should buy one. That rocked my world for a moment, I had never thought of that. So I tried to sell it to him. He bought the ad, but whether or not his decision was based on my sales pitch, I cannot say.

But it was after the ad was sold that the surprising happened. We stood there and talked, just talked, for about 30 more minutes. It isn’t often two guys just stand there talking, especially when one is the owner of a store and the other is “just some kid.” That’s what happened though. What we talked about, I don’t really remember, and honestly that isn’t what is important. What surprised me was that he seemed so genuinely interested in what I had to say, now that’s something you don’t see every day.

That day I learned the value of being a good listener, and of being warm and kind with people that you don’t even know. I don’t even remember the man’s name, and I haven’t talked to him since. But that’s okay with me, because the lesson is learned and can help me for life. I found something much more valuable than just another ad sold.