Everybody Is Somebody

As probably most of you know, I went on a trip to New York and PA this week. It was an absolutely incredible trip, and I’m super thankful for the experience and amazing friends that I both met and maintained along the trip.

One crazy thing about being in New York is the amount of people there are. It’s a crazy feeling walking around and just so many people passing by. At one point it hit me that everyone passing me is someone that has a real life that is just as important to them as mine is to me. It was the embodiment of the word “sonder.”  And yet I always somehow view those people around me as robots or something like that. I think we tend to see people that way, whether we mean to or not. You know how like, okay you're walking through the house and then come face to face with a spider. And both of you just like, stand there staring at each other. Like, “oh crap.” Both think the other is gonna kill them or something. And to me this is almost how the interaction with humans is. You sit on a train next to someone, or a plane… do you talk to them? No, let's be honest -- probably not. Cuz you just do the spider thing and mind your own business as if the person has no story and is gonna run back under the fridge like a spider. But I was thinking about it--I bet the person is just as worried about you too. Try being friendly. Say something to them! Ask them where they are from. I’ve found that people tend to be so so funny. They have their own quirks and you can pick up on them in only minutes of a conversation! It’s so amazing. People make me laugh so hard, and when they see you’re comfortable with them, they drop the act and get the same with you. We had a couple of Uber drivers while in New York, and I just spent time talking to them. All of them were totally different, each one had their own personality, and it was such a pleasure to meet them. It's a pleasure to meet anyone. I don’t know why we view everyone as the spider in the hallway and go our separate ways. There’s so much reward in talking to people, even short interactions.

Yes, sometimes the people are jerks, and it makes you feel stupid for trying to reach out, but the times that that happens is rare, and should be taken with a grain of salt because the good interactions make the bad ones worth it. Plus, you know what I realized? I walk away from the conversation smiling almost every time. Sometimes laughing even! It makes my day better, and makes theirs too. As a Christian, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be talking to people, even if I don’t get to give the Gospel or something. I meet them, and I get to have a positive impact on them. That’s an honor. So next time you’re out, try it. You’ll probably be scared, but risk it. And know that it can go south, but that’s part of the fun! Cuz you never know what you’re gonna get. So c’mon, talk to the person next to you. They have a story, and a life, and despite my weird brain, they’re not a spider.

Sterling Grinnell