People talk to me. They tell me things. Sometimes they tell me things they wouldn't tell their best friend. I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm just a good listener.
There are two ways of dealing with strangers: fear or fascination. I really want to know what makes other people tick, so I've no time for fear. What's it like to grow up where they did, what they were taught to believe, things they've learned along the way? What makes other people tick? What motivates them, gives them comfort, or causes them concern? Have they discovered any tricks for living that they are willing to share?
Growing up in an isolated culture, it would have been easy to turn inward and shun the outside world. However, I went in the opposite direction, searching out novelty. It's been so much more interesting that way.
One thing concerns me about the tough times ahead. People often close down. They are less open to outsiders. The outlander is feared. Differences are frowned upon. As the Japanese say: The tree that sticks out gets cut down.
It's a dirty shame, really.
There is so much to discover from other people. That doesn't mean you have to accept their philosophy, join their religion or political party. It doesn't mean you have to change your sexual habits, your job, or your life.
Then again, it might be a good idea to examine those things with a fresh viewpoint. After all, so much of what we are is an accident of birth. We are raised in a certain culture and religion, using the tools of our birth clan. It doesn't hurt to look around. Maybe you were raised by apes and never knew it. Wouldn't it be nice to know how to live like a human being for a change?
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