Getting out of your little box

Listened to a broadcast the other day. The man was telling a story about how he took a break from college and hitchhiked from New York to Alaska.

He was rhapsodizing “It wasn’t long until I realized that this was the only way to really meet people. I met all kinds of people, and talked to them. They were so interesting and welcoming”

This is such a cliche.

Guess what? Alaska is a place. It is a place among places. And you know what?

IT”S NOT THE ONLY WAY TO DO ANYTHING.

do you know what? You took a break from your life and started talking to all kinds of people.

You HAPPENED to be on your way to Alaska. Alaska had nothing to do with you pulling your head out of your butt and noticing the world around you.

Alaska is magical. You knw what else is magical? The restaurant down the street. And the bus that takes you to the next town. Or the elevator.

ALL THESE LOCATIONS are places that I have spoken to people I wouldn’t get a chance to speak to in my daily life. But wait, that is my daily life.

So. I have long fascinating conversations with all kinds of people on a weekly if not daily basis. People that I might not have conversations with every again. And some of them are people I have come to realize that I see all the time, but only have started to notice them once I had a good long talk.

People yakyakyak about how important it is to be diverse, and not prejudiced. In particular, I hear this from hallowed halls, of management in businesses and from professors of universities.

And sometimes I get to talk to the denizens of those hallowed halls and blow their minds about what diverse means.

It means getting input. It means listening and talking and conversing.

What it does NOT mean is dropping out of your life to sleep on a strangers couch.

And if you have to drop out of your life to remember what life is, you are way out of line.

There is that famous internet story about the fantastic violist that played on the subway, and nobody stopped to listen

I listen.

I always listen to music on the street. There is not much outside music on my street. But I always listen.

I left Alaska to find more people to talk to.

And I’m still talking.

Did everyone else forget how to talk?

Is this skill something that makes me special?

Perhaps.