When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.”
– Henri Nouwen.
What does it mean to begin in a friendly way? Does this mean that we should only begin in a friendly way to our friends, or does it mean something more? Riding up the elevator this morning, I found myself in a crowd of strange people. I said good morning and started a conversation about last night’s football game. By the time we stopped at the 11th floor, I knew two people’s names. I am sure I brightened their day.
Open up the conversation with strangers when you are in a safe environment. You may be surprised at the new friends you make. At the very least, you brighten someone’s day. Albert Camus said: “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
Recently, I did a lot of air traveling. There were a lot of annoyed travelers at the airport – most notably the flight attendants. I went out of my way to be nice and began every conversation in a friendly way. I complimented each employee with whom I came into contact. My husband asked why I acted extremely friendly. I explained to him that I can get more sugar with honey than I can with vinegar. If I allowed myself to become aggravated with the airport employees, they likely would have responded with greater irritation.
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