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  • Writer's pictureSkyla J

WHY I TALK TO STRANGERS ( Like….all the time )

If you sit next to me in a restaurant or cafe, I’m gonna talk to you. If I see you more than twice in my neighbourhood, I’m going to ask your name and introduce myself. If I see you walking down the street and I think you’re dressed really funky, guess what ? I’m gonna tell ya ! If I see someone visibly upset I’m gonna ask if they need help. I have always been this way and I hope I never change.

Now I know this isn’t for everyone but I can tell you how important I feel this practice is. Do you know how many people feel overcome with loneliness and literally go days without ever speaking to anyone ?

The other day I hugged my 87 year old neighbour and he shared it had been months since he had been hugged. Ohhhh my heart…

How many times have you observed someone from a distance and assumed you knew what they were all about and you thought you had them all figured out ? I am guilty of this and let me tell you, 99 percent of the time I am completely wrong. How do I know ? because I talk to people. It’s that simple. We need to talk to each other, and not just to people we know.

Growing up I went to 14 different schools and in order to survive being the new kid I learned to talk to everybody ! Fast forward to my 20’s and 30’s where I spent most of my time as a touring musician therefore always in a new city or venue. I still maintain many of those on the road connections and have quadrupled my global community all because I talk to people.

While living in Toronto I used to attend a group meditation at a local Buddhist temple. The day 9/11 happened the temple was so full people were sitting on the steps outside waiting for guidance and answers, anything that would help them make sense of the horrific tragedy. The Nun running temple that night waited till the very end to address the days events. She looked up and simply stated “the only thing we can do is shut off the news, put away the news papers and check on our neighbours, family and friends.” To some this may sound flippant but I believe our connection to our communities is invaluable and this is where we can have the most immediate impact !!

We thrive when we feel connected to one another, when we feel we belong. So reach out, start up a conversation with a person in the grocery line up. Crack a joke to the person next to you in a restaurant. I dare ya !!

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