I was sitting there minding my own business, once again at the local Barnes & Noble. I was about 150 pages into the new James Patterson novel, when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a young man toting a backpack and computer bag. He was obviously looking for somewhere to sit, but seating is premium.
Inviting him to sit at my table, I turned back to my book. For the next hour and a half I read about 3 pages. Within seconds we embarked on a conversation that would take us from college, to the FBI, to Gnostic gospels, to Arabic languages, to stories, to Jerry Falwell, to confessions and maybe a little hope. It all began with being willing to put the book down and notice someone around me.
Earlier in the day, I had visited a local organization seeking a favor. As I began to talk with the Director, she introduced me to a member of their board. Our conversation took more twists and turns than a country road. I learned all about her kids, their church, the history of their organization. We talked about volunteer work I did after Hurricane Katrina. At the end of the conversation she invited me to live in their families home, if I needed a place to stay until my family could join me here in Yorktown. Mind blowing that this is someone I just met.
Conversations are opportunities waiting to happen. I am fascinated by people's willingness to share, when we take the time to notice them and acknowledge their existence. What would happen if we truly took an interest in the people around us?