Every person has a story. Since they’ve been living a life, there’s a story in there somewhere. Most people think their story is boring, and they keep it to themselves. But if we could really talk to each person we meet throughout our life, we have opportunities to get to know some amazing stories, and connect with some amazing people.
Many people’s stories are heartbreaking.
Some years ago I was driving across the state. A motorbike came up behind me and stayed there for about 2 hours. I thought that was a little unusual, since he was obviously going faster than me until he reached me, but he didn’t bother overtaking me. When I pulled in at a petrol station, he did too, and he filled up at the pump behind mine. I smiled a greeting at him, and he told me his story.
You probably saw me following you for a while. My bike’s speedo isn’t working, so when I came up behind you I decided to follow you since I guessed you were probably doing the speed limit. I’m travelling around the country on this bike. My wife died of cancer a year ago, and I’m doing the trip that we were going to do together, on the bike we were both going to ride. She’s with me as we travel.
That story always brings a tear to my eye and a lump in my throat when I remember it.
Last night I had dinner with some work colleagues. We were telling stories. Everyone had a story to share, and when we finished sharing our stories, we knew a bit more about each other. Some of us will never see each other again, but in that time, we connected as people, all going through our unique and individual journeys.
I told a story about meeting the half sister I never knew I had. Someone else told their story of meeting a childhood friend that they’d lost touch with decades earlier, meeting them in a roadhouse in central Australia. Someone else told their story about how they loved old Australian cars and had a garage at home that was big enough for the 10 classic cars they owned.
Taking the time to connect with people, to learn their stories, and to share our own – this is what helps bring people together in wonderful relationships, even if those relationships last only for a few hours. For a brief moment in life, we all connect. We’re all the same. We all have a story.
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