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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Don't Be Afraid...

I love to talk with people. It drives my kids crazy though. They always look at me puzzled when I start up a random conversation with the gentleman re-stocking the Cheeze-its, showing the butcher how I get a "lunchable for free, or discussing my issue with the "sloppy" black beans with a lady behind me at Chipotle. I love to talk with people.

I grew up on the west coast, well actually, the northern west coast...ALASKA! The folks there seem a bit more laid back. We have time to "shoot the breeze." Truth be told, we don't have anymore time than anyone else but we want to make the time. It's fun!

When I moved to the east, people looked at me a bit strange when I gave them a hardy "hello" when I passed them while out running. But I decided right then and there (16 years ago) I wouldn't stop my friendly wave followed with a "good morning" or "how are ya?". Nope. I didn't stop, even though there have been plenty of times I have looked as though I am waving to no one or talking to myself (truth be told, I actually do talk to myself...have you seen me grocery shopping?).

It pays to be friendly. The greatest reward for me is the joy of meeting new people. I have so many friendships that have begun at the bus stop or while jogging around Burke Lake, true friendships that have blossomed from a simple hello. I think we all want to reach out but society tends to make us believe that by so doing, we will offend, we will bother, we are out to "sell" something or "get" to something.

But don't be afraid to say hello, to lend a helping hand, to smile. In return, you may find a new friend. You may even find out that "the Cheeze-it" man has a pocket full of Nabisco coupons and hands you one, the butcher knows the best cut of meat for my Sunday roast (and it is marked down half price) or the lady at Chipotle shares her secret to avoiding "sloppy" black beans and tells me to just get a little cup of them to go.

Give it try, a simple smile, a little conversation, a helping just might like it.

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