100 Strangers - Mark Reierson
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066.100 Nathan

066.100 Nathan

Wanting to try new streets, I walked south this day but I was largely unsuccessful. As I headed back, I saw a man just ahead of me smoking a small unusual pipe. We chatted for a few moments about his pipe before I told him what I was up to.

This is Nathan. He is a very well read individual, and we have read on similar topics; a pleasant discovery in and of itself. Our conversation flowed very well. Our conversation drifted from talking to strangers into meta-physics, quantum mechanics, and some fringe science topics; it became one of the most interesting and unexpected conversations I’ve had with this project.

The experience gave me a new perspective on this endeavour and the whole idea of talking with strangers. This entire project has made me realize life is so much richer with human interactions. Being friendly and open to talking to people is a fascinating and effective way to create empathy for the people we cross paths with. These encounters often give me an emotional and spiritual boost; however, sometimes they can also leave me feeling drained. In fact, I still find the “no’s” I get don’t bother me intellectually; I respect people’s right to not engage, but they are a drain on my spirit. It takes a lot of internal willpower to overcome the fear and anxiety to actually reach out to someone, It takes a lot of internal willpower to overcome the fear and anxiety and actually reach out to someone. When great encounters happen, like with Nathan, and the effort I output is returned multiplied, it makes for amazing, almost addictive experiences.

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