You know the saying, “Don’t talk to strangers”? I am fully aware and generally abide by this principle in certain areas but my recent encounter shed a little light and made a loop hole for the phrase.
I was sitting in a mall, minding my own business and eating my chocolate bar when the fella next to me asked me if the mall had wifi after which point I explained to him how to connect to it. After this I decided I needed to take out cash so I went to the ATM, took some cash out and went back to my seat. This man was still sitting there and when he saw me said, “I’m still here’!
We introduced ourselves and he began explaining to me why he was at this particular mall. He had resided in Windsor; now I don’t know that much about Windsor but from what I’ve heard from acquaintances – it’s rather cold people wise. This fella had a similar story to tell. He explained how he felt racism has trickled over from Detroit and into Windsor putting him in a position where he was just not content. He had said, “I couldn’t do this in Windsor, if I said ‘hi’ people would kinda look up and scowl wondering why a random man is talking to them”. He was in this mall to see if this new town was accepting and to see what the people were like. I live a town away from the mall and told him it’s rather diverse if that’s what he’s worried about.
Now this is where I say there is light in talking to strangers sometimes. I don’t know this man, I’ve never met him before but what ensued from a friendly greeting was an insightful talk about immigration, people getting into Canada and why it is so difficult to do so and a different perspective that I would not have known about had I not spoken to this stranger that day. I love chatting about world issues so I sat with him for 20 minutes while I waited for my ride to come and it made my day! I’ve never really had a bad interaction with a stranger. That’s not to say don’t be careful and watch your surroundings but sometimes it’s okay and in this experience I am glad I didn’t turn away!