Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Yak, Yak, Please Talk Back

Day 24
I love random conversations with strangers.  I’ll talk to anyone who gives me an ounce of encouragement. 

Oh, the things I’ve been told on a plane that would make your toes curl!! 

While in New York, I encouraged my son to talk to people waiting in line for the ferry, sitting next to us in the theater, and standing behind us on the tour bus.  We talked with street performers, store clerks, tourists and locals.    

I know teaching your child to talk to strangers may sound counterintuitive to what some parents preach but hear me out. 

I do not want my children to be fearful of strangers.  I want my children to know that 99.9 percent of all the people they’ll come in contact with are good, honest and friendly.   

I also feel that the more interactions my kids have with “good” strangers will prepare them to react if they ever meet a “bad” stranger.  

So here’s a shout out to the couple from Florida visiting NYC for their 50th wedding anniversary.

To our new friends from Taiwan, are you all the happiest people on earth, or what?!  They broke into “Happy Birthday” on the ferry ride to Ellis Island and got the whole top level of the ferry clapping as my little boy beamed.  If ever an opportunity presents itself to sing to a stranger in public, I’m jumping on it.    

Lastly, a big hello to the homeless woman at Starbucks.  She and I yakked about the benefits of one roller suitcase over another. 

What a diverse group you all were!  Thanks for making our trip better by sharing yourself.  I hope you enjoyed talking to us as much as we enjoyed talking with you.  

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