Strangers

"Good things happen when you meet strangers." Yo-Yo Ma

I remember that since little, my parents always advised me about strangers, about people we don’t know and those who aren’t from our social ground! And I always wondered: WHY?

I just came back from Natal, where I spent 5 amazing days doing nothing XD, and both of my parents told me to watch out with strangers! And, as a good daughter, all I had to say was: I will …

But why watching out with strangers? Why being so defensive with people? I am sure there was a time where parents wouldn’t tell their children to watch out with strangers. That really got me wondering: aren’t we all strangers? Of course some are weirder, but we’re not talking about that, yet! What I can recall is that great friendships start with strangers!

If you start wondering, when you go out, everywhere you go, you can see strangers! But I believe what parents are talking about are the ones who makes us get suspicious, wondering whether that person is mentally healthy or not! (and I doubt that, because I still doubt of the mental health of some of my friends)

When we start going backwards on our lives, we realize that the first time we went to school (college or work) we didn’t know any one, maybe one or another, and when I started thinking about that day, I couldn’t remember my parents telling me to watch out with strangers on my first day of school! I guess that’s why we make friends. We don’t worry about strangers, and what is going to happen if we talk to someone we don’t know. Isn’t it like this that we make great friends?

Whether we go to conferences, trips, colleges, parties, UN Models, it’s easy to meet people when we don’t worry about the “strange” factor. I recently realized that my great friends were first stragers, most were also weird, and that’s what makes them amazing. I believe that the moment we give the chance to meet other people, whether strangers or not, we find ourselves between great amazing people. During my flights going and coming back from Natal, I met great people. They made me laugh and we talked. So why worrying about strangers?

People have become suspicious about everything and everyone. My parents call me a fool, for the fact that I give the benefit of the doubt. And why not? Why can’t we live in a society that everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt. I do trust people. Do I get hurt? Yes. Do I fall on my face? Yes. But not always.

William Butler Yeats said: “There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met”.

We listen that the human being is the only rational being on Earth. Are we? I sometimes think that the we overthink things too much.

This is a huge world full of strangers. I am sure that parents only care for children, so an advice to you who are raising (or thinking of having) children: tell your children that this is a dangerous world and they should watch out with strangers, but they should also know that are some  strangers that are not dangerous, and once we get to know them better, they become our friends. Watch out, yes, for strange looking, weird maniac who are way older than they are and shouldn’t be staring at children kind of people. From those they should run away screaming! (or just show them a Batman movie with the Joker XD)

So that’s why for 2010 I want a crowd of strangers. I want to meet new people. I want to be amused by the brilliant minds hidden in the crowds of people around me. I want to make sure I arrive at the end of next year with my great friends, who made this year amazing, but also with others who will also make my 2010 even better than 2009.

Quoting Fyodor Dostoevsky: “We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken“.

May our 2010 be filled with strangers 😄

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