Sometimes I wonder…
What kind of existence am I to others?
What kind of impact do I leave? Is it positive? Is it warm? That’s what I hope. Even if only a little.
We’re all so accustomed to viewing strangers as – well, just strangers. Nothing more than ‘other people’ with whom we have no connection. Dog walkers, cashiers, people who we walk past on the street. They only pass into our lives for perhaps a few seconds, a minute or maybe a few more. For most part, they pass us by without us really noticing.
But have you ever had an interaction with a stranger which stayed with you for longer than that minute? Have you ever come across somebody, who took only a few seconds of your time, but left you thinking for much longer?
A happy interaction. A smile or a laugh. Real sincerity. They talk to you like you’re a person worth talking to. Even though it’ll only be for a minute, you’re a person who matters, worthy of their time, worth getting to know.
One single minute with a complete stranger. One minute of a warm positive energy. It’s amazing how much of a positive influence it can leave.
But the same effect can happen with a negative interaction. One minute, or even one second, of negativity from a stranger and someone’s world can be turned upside down. Were they happy before this happened? Were they already sad and now they feel worse? The most hurtful truth in this is the stranger probably never thinks about how much they affected that person. They drop one small blast of negativity and move on, not thinking about the consequences… because that person is just a ‘stranger’ to them. So it doesn’t matter, right?
I’m sure there will be people who believe “why should it matter? You don’t know them and they don’t know you, so just ignore them. Don’t let them get to you because… it doesn’t matter.” And while I do believe that – it shouldn’t matter – I also think that you never know what a person has already been through. For some people, it will be easier said than done. We can’t always help what “gets to us.” Sometimes, it does matter.
So my point is – be mindful with your time interacting with all people, including strangers. Including the people you’ll only ever meet for a minute.
I know that it’s impossible to leave a positive impact on every single person. But at the very least, I don’t want to leave a negative one. Where possible, I’d like to leave people feeling warm, like their existence is important – even to a stranger like me.
Just because I don’t know you, it doesn’t mean you’re not important.
We are the people of the same world. We all matter. And you just don’t know how much of an influence you are on others – so spread that positive energy.