Talking to strangers face-to-face brings joy, enrichment

By Debra Whittington

Religion columnist

“Be ye kind one to another”…Ephesians 4:32

There is something lacking in our electronically connected world…face-to-face communication with people we don’t know. The problem is that face-to-face communication is lacking in many areas of everyday life. We are just too busy to take the time and effort.

All of this came to me when I accompanied my mom and a friend to several garage sales this past weekend. While I didn’t really need anything, I am always looking for a bargain.

First we stopped at the unofficial garage sale corner where boxes and signs entice you to come to their sale first for the best bargains in town. As we jotted down addresses, I said good morning to others who were on the same quest.

Most of the people spoke back with even comments on the good weather or best wishes for the day. Sadly though, others looked as though there was something wrong with me. They either turned their backs muttering or openly glared their mistrust.

At the first stop at a backyard sale we paused to admire the front yard full of beautiful flowers that were carefully tended. I never noticed them before when I drove by the house.

In the backyard we were greeted by a cheerful lady. I complimented her on her beautiful garden,  which pleased her. While we found some treasures we couldn’t live without, it was her helpfulness answering questions, visiting with us, and the careful way she wrapped our purchase that made it an enjoyable experience.

As we left, we spotted a box marked “free” full of paper sacks containing flower seeds from her garden. I look forward to seeing these flowers in my own garden and will remember her generosity.

We met so many kind people that day. There was the sale where most things were a quarter or fifty cents. They told me they wanted to get rid of things in their garage, but were also blessed to provide items for those who couldn’t afford much.

There are many more stories to tell, like a small item I looked at but didn’t really need. As I was leaving, the owner gave it to me because he saw how much I admired it. And the hugs I received were better than all my purchases combined.

The joy we receive from interacting with others, especially with people we don’t know, is becoming a rare commodity.

I once was so shy I couldn’t even speak to others. By practicing a simple “hello” even when I was shaking all over, it eventually became easier. Now I can usually speak without any fear.

I challenge you to talk to others even if you don’t know them. Speak to the checker at the store or the person standing in line next to you even if you will never see them again.

By practicing talking to others, I have met so many wonderful people who blessed my life even when I never saw them again.

Be kind to one another. I guarantee you will find more than bargains. You will find true treasures.

 

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