Strangers Are Not So Strange

Writers are known to be introverts, and I have found that most I have met have proven this to be true. It is especially relevant to me, knowing that most of my friends are completely fictional. 🙂 However, while most writers are quiet and shy, I am often conflicted between being energetic and garrulous and hiding from people I do not know. Even though I am social, I still dread meeting new people and interacting with them. Everyone is kind, but I tend to embarrass myself daily, and specifically, in public. I am always afraid that the strangers around me will laugh and mock me. However, in recent weeks, I have noticed more kindness between strangers, and this makes my heart warm and happy. I have seen thoughtful “hellos” and small talk that is not as forced, only tiny attempt for politeness, but it does bring more smiles. Most times, when I work up the courage to say something to a stranger, I give them a compliment, and they become so awkward and grumble a “thanks” they do not really mean. If this has ever happened to you, does your heart sink, too? My whole chest caves in, and it is almost as if I lose my breath in the process. Only, just this very weekend, I have seen more kindness than I have in a long time. Yesterday, I was walking with a friend of mine, and two young girls, no older than thirteen, popped out of nowhere and bid us “Hello! You two are very pretty.” They had the brightest, lip-glossed smiles I had seen from utter strangers, and I almost felt my self-esteem rise through my veins to my heart, uplifting it happily. The kindness stayed with us for a long time. Even in times of red-cheeked blushing, the kindness is remaining. Today, I embarrassed myself at the grocery store, and no one laughed at me. I had gone to pick up an onion, and being a klutz like me, I dropped it, and the innocently white onion rolled across the floor. When it rolled underneath an older woman’s cart, I sighed, hoping she could not see it. Of course, she did, but instead of making me feel bad, she made a joke and handed it back to me, ending our interaction with a kind coo of “Have a good day, young lady.” The kindness I have witnessed this weekend has restored some of my faith in humanity, and I could not be happier about that.

 

Perhaps we are all getting better. Go say something nice to a stranger, and let’s hope this happiness will stay in our society.

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