Think about This: Two Strangers and a Ball Pit

I watched this video this morning and I loved the idea so much I wanted to share it with all of you! Watch the video:

http://www.wimp.com/ballpit/  (you have to click the link – I can’t seem to embed this video)

Isn’t that just wonderful? This is why I like places where it’s okay to talk to strangers (bars, casinos, coffee shops, etc.). If I ever came across a ball pit like this, not only would I be the first one to jump into it; because ball pits on their own are awesome, but because talking to strangers is one of my all time favorite activities. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing – yesterday I had a long conversation with a stranger about avocados in the grocery store. In a ten minute conversation I learned that she has two kids, every Saturday their whole extended family gets together for dinner and this Saturday they were having tacos. I helped her pick out some good ones – told her how to ripen them quicker and when they are the most delicious and gave her a quick recipe for guacamole. She knows that I am from California and miss cheap avocados, and that I didn’t like them until I was older. Now some people might not think that was a meaningful conversation – but I came home and told Kitten about her, and I am sure she went home and told her kids that a stranger helped her pick out some good avocados. I hope they have a wonderful taco night. We are now a part of each others lives – even if it seems insignificant and even if we never see each other again.

We spend a lot of time on this great big planet of ours avoiding people we don’t know or being so consumed by our own lives that we forget that there are millions of people feeling the same things, going through the same struggles, and loving the same things we do. We don’t have to continually separate ourselves because of political or religious affiliations – I don’t know or care who she voted for, I just hope she enjoys her family time and I love the fact that they take every Saturday to connect with each other. There are so many ways that we are all similar the fact that we  constantly worry about our differences has separated us from one another.

One of the things that I love about my relationship is that Kitten also talks to strangers. She is constantly paying attention to the people around her and that she deals with on a daily basis. She is addicted to Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee and the people who run our local Dunkin’ are Indian. Kitten knows all about them and is even working on learning the language they speak. Other customers look at her like she is crazy for talking to them and learning about their lives – but when she walks in for her coffee – it makes their day and other customers respond too – all of a sudden instead of just ordering and tossing money at them without even making eye contact, they start saying please and thank you and walk out with a smile on their face instead of the AM scowl. She is proof that one person, just by being kind, can make a difference and influence peoples lives.

You never know who you will meet or how important your conversation might be to you or the stranger.  One more story: Kitten and I were at a shoe store shopping and we are a little crazy out in public sometimes (okay all the time). We laugh constantly.  So we were shopping and being our usual crazy and there was a woman quite literally following us and cracking up at our antics. She finally broke down and told us how funny she thought we were and that she seriously needed a laugh that day. She asked if we were sisters (we get that a lot) and thanked us for making her laugh. Who knows why that woman needed a laugh that day – but it is possible that we helped bring her from a dark place into a more positive place just by sharing our crazy with her. It was obviously important enough to her that she mentioned it to us and it also made our day knowing that we made her life better for even a few minutes while shoe shopping.

So my challenge to you all dear readers is to talk to a stranger this weekend. Talk to the clerk scanning your groceries. Have a conversation with the gas station attendant. Help an elderly person carry their bags. Have a conversation with the person in line with you. Basically – create your own ball pit. Make a small connection with the people around you. I can say from experience that it will make your entire day better and possibly theirs too. Stop focusing on differences and embrace similarities even if the only thing you have in common at the time is location.

Go talk to a stranger. Come back here and share your experience. 

2 thoughts on “Think about This: Two Strangers and a Ball Pit

  1. What you are referring to in your blog, I call Mitzvahs; it simply means a good deed. Something that you do for someone for no reason at all.
    I just turned forty years old and I find myself, finding myself. I’m not really sure when it started for me but there came a time at some point in my life when i realized how much better it is to give than to receive. As time went on I realized that even though I try to always give with no intention of getting anything in return, the fact is that I get so much in return that it is too much to keep track of.
    The other day i walked into a deli, I ordered my sandwiches and proceeded to just wait. A few minutes later in walked a family, husband, wife and a little girl about the age of 6. The little girl and I made eye contact and I smiled at her. The rest is history; I could tell you what grade she is in, what her teacher is like, what kind of homework she has. I can tell you that her favorite color is purple and that she has a purple bike that she really loves to ride. I learned that her and her family are staying with relatives because they had a fire in their house. I could go on and on. She wanted to buy everything that I was buying and just followed me around and talked to me for over a half hour. It was really sweet.
    No matter what our differences, there is one thing that brings us all together and that is our needs in their simplest forms. To be heard, to be loved and to be UNDERSTOOD. In our core that is what everyone wants.
    The way that we express our understanding of others is one simple word ACKNOWLEDGMENT. It is possibly the most powerful word of the English language.
    So whenever you can; make eye contact with people, talk to people, always greet with a smile on your face and always acknowledge what you can, when you can!
    There is so many different epidemics in our society; poverty, hunger and homelessness and the list goes on. A simple wave when you are crossing the street or driving, a simple thank you, a smile when you walk in a room. Just making yourself aware of others around you will open your eyes to amazing people and experiences.
    WHY can’t KINDNESS be an epidemic? I believe it can.

    • This is why I love you and your example has made a difference in my life and how I interact with people. 🙂 Together, we CAN make kindness an epidemic! Who’s with us?

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