If we are looking for superficial, politically-correct niceties in polite conversation with someone we might say hi to (neighbours, co-workers, checkout clerks), see rarely (extended family members, fellow employees we don’t work with regularly) or complete strangers (checkout aisle folks, telemarketers and people who let us into traffic)we can get by with a smile, a handshake, polite hellos or a wave.
But when we want something meaningful and deep, where do we look?
Strangers might be holders of great wisdom from which we can learn plenty but we don’t know them – they’ve not passed any kind of character test, we’ve not experienced anything together with them – so why would we trust them, listen to them or share our most private information, fears and vulnerability with them?
Friends – deep close ones, are valuable. They aren’t equal to ‘closest family members’, but they are as close to that as you might imagine. They are for keeping, for trusting. For respecting and source of reciprocal value which transcends money, influence, power or any other conventional means of measurement. Don’t ever try to put a price on that.
An opinionated stranger who doesn’t know you is someone you don’t know, don’t know if you like and don’t know if you can trust – and though they might charm or delight in the moment, they are nothing more than that until there is something more than that between you, so be wary. As I have recently learned/had a palpable reminder …