“Strangers are friends you have yet to meet.” -Unknown
Since I live in LA and my family lives in Boston, I take long flights several times a year. During many of these flights, I read a book or watch a movie and disappear into my own little world of self-entertainment.
When I was returning from a recent visit, I found myself looking around at all the different people who I would likely not talk to during the flight, and then never see again.
We’d all share an experience together–and yet apart–and then move on with our lives, without making much of a discernible difference in each others’ worlds.
After I drifted off to sleep, I dreamed that the plane crashed, but we all survived on an island, somewhat like on the show Lost. Suddenly, we weren’t strangers anymore. We were all people who needed each other–who, over time, started loving each other.
Our sense of separateness disappeared as we realized our lives were easier when we worked together and looked out for each other.
When I opened my eyes I saw everyone differently–as if we were all connected. Then I remembered that we are.
It seems so trite to say that we are all brothers and sisters, but the truth is that we tend to form a lot of our closest relationships based mainly on proximity–meaning we could love entirely different people if we followed different paths.
Today if you find yourself surrounded by strangers, feeling tempted to shut down, remember: These are all people with qualities that you could love. When we see each other in this way and then act on it, even brief encounters can make a meaningful difference.
Photo by Akuppa