Today I took a bus (not something I do often) to town. At one of the stops a lady comes and sits down next to me; which surprised me as there were lots of vacant seats to chose from. She glances at me a couple of times and smiling makes a comment about me playing on my phone. She then begins to waffle on about her grandson always being on his phone and how it’s so different from when she was a child. Now initially I was irritated…then I asked myself why? This warm, friendly lady is trying to make conversation, why am I so annoyed.
I realise it must be our conditioning.
From being very young it is drummed into us that it is dangerous to talk to strangers, so we learn to be suspicious of those who try to engage with us randomly. This learned behaviour means I feel uncomfortable even to tell a person that they have left their umbrella behind, or that their skirt is tucked in to their knickers. I sometimes want to wander around smiling at strangers but even that isn’t well received. Why, as a society, are we so scared of being friendly and open.
Having thought on this I decided to put my phone down and talk to this worldly grandma. She told of her family who live in France, her grandson who loves to sing, about her trip to the dentist and retirement.
I think perhaps if we all made a conscious effort to be a little more friendly then the world may just become a slightly nicer place to live.