Some of you will know that last week I brought home a puppy called Mollie! She’s lovely but my week has been filled with poos and wees everywhere! At one point Mollie pooed and then she ran in it – aaagh! I was going to take a photo to show you, but no one wants to see that.
I’ve been trying to get her used to different noises and smells so I carried her down to my local coffee shop and sat outside. In the space of about two hours I had at least 15 people stop and start conversations with me… ‘Oh she’s lovely!’ ‘How are you getting on?’ ‘Is this your first?’ ‘Is she settling in?’
I couldn’t believe how many strangers were more than willing to talk to me just because I had a dog. So it seems dogs bridge this gap and make conversation with strangers acceptable, amazing!
This new experience of talking to so many strangers each day has had a big effect on me. So much so in fact that when I was standing in a queue the other day (without Mollie) I said to the lady in front of me ‘So, how’s your day going?’ She did look a little surprised but started telling me about how much stress she’s under at work and how her family members are unwell. We were strangers to each other but in the space of two minutes we’d connected.
So maybe, just maybe, we don’t need dogs. Maybe we just need to take more of an interest in people.
Sometimes we get into a habit of keeping ourselves to ourselves and are closed off to the world in front of us. So often we live internally and don’t make an effort to interact with the people around us. What we all need to remember is we have so much that we can learn from each other. It’s in sharing a ‘Hello’, a ‘How are you?’ and our kind words that we can encourage the people we come into contact with. Ok, it can feel silly or nerve-wracking saying ‘Good morning’ to someone you don’t know, but the more you speak with new people, the easier it gets.
So I want to challenge you this month to take a brave step and speak to people that you’re not familiar with; the person who serves you, your bus driver, the postman (or postlady), the shop assistant or that girl at school who looks alone. Together let’s take a step towards opening up and living outwardly.