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Hello Stranger, How Are You?

I don’t know about you, but there are so many people in our lives that it seems that we’ve seen them forever, we’ve known them forever, yet we don’t really know them.

This might sound confusing at first, but take a look around you, it may be that guard that keeps your house and office safe every day, that nasi lemak seller that you buy your breakfast from every day, the bus conductor that gives you your ticket, or even that guy or girl that sits at that corner of the train every day.

They’re like the closest strangers, ever.

Sounds romantic and fictional, but it happens. There are so many people around us that we see every day, you may notice the change of their hairstyle, the new shirt they’re wearing, the new bag she gotten, the new phone he had, yet we don’t know even know their name.

They are the closest strangers, ever.

Lonely Man Sitting Against The Wall


Image @Daviddesign on Flickr

It’s so hard to say “hi”

A tweet from @Available had illustrated this pretty well,

“at the supermarket, i’m afraid to talk to the person next in-line, yet on twitter…HOW ARE YOU?!”

Yeah, why are we so afraid to talk to the stranger around us in real life, yet we’re so daring to say hi to just virtually anyone on the Net?

Is it because that we’ve grown so accustomed to the notions that strangers may not be good people, so we would rather not take the risk and say hi at all? Instead, over the net you can say “hi” to anyone because they can never harm you, physically?

But then, isn’t that cold? Can you feel the chill now, the chillness of the urban life?

A word is all it takes to spark

If we’ve taken the first step to say “Hi”, we might have not been strangers anymore.

I remember that when I was young, I used to buy these noodles (Pan Mee) from this vendor almost every day. Eventually the aunties there grew to recognize me, and while we ceased to talk other than closing the deal, it felt warm inside that they actually know what I wanted even before I ordered.

Then one day, I said “Hi” when I arrived at the store. The auntie smiled back, and we sparked a conversation about my school, my studies, her work, her life. And what’s interesting is that she seemed to know so much about me, about how I grew up over the years, when I changed my school bag, when I got a new haircut.

We’ve seen each other every day, all it takes is just a plain “hi”, and we’ve grown to know each other a little bit better. Not so much of a stranger anymore, are we?

Customer relations, they say. Humanity, is what I call it.

Let’s not be Strangers, shall we?

Really, the world needs more warmth. It isn’t that difficult, really, just start with a smile in your face, and say “hi” to them. The person in the same lift with you, the janitor at the corridor, the canteen cashier, the uncle at the bus corner, the girl next class, the boy next department.

Who knows what might spark from the simple “hi”. But whatever it is, it’ll not be a bad thing, it rarely will. Ditch the newspapers or the goddamn news, the world has more good people than you think.

Hello, stranger. How are you today?

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