Taking the train is often mundane and I either fall asleep or wander off and start daydreaming. But two Fridays ago, I had a chance to connect on my way home back to Richmond. I sat down in the 2nd seat of the 4-chair row and this couple sat down next to me. The man took out his phone and took a horizontal picture of him covering his mouth, his wife covering her ears and me just staring at them smiling (because I thought it was adorable). The photo became a representation of “see now evil, speak no evil, hear no evil”. I couldn’t help but say hi and comment on their creativity and that’s how we started talking.
Steve and Gail were a couple from Missouri that haven’t taken a vacation for a while. Since their kids are much older now, they enjoy the opportunity to travel and explore. I shared a lot of the “must-see’s” and “must-do’s” of Richmond and regretted that the time they had in Vancouver was simply not enough. They told me about their life back in St. Louis and how Steve is a volunteer at a local homeless shelter that helps women and children. That really captured my interest as one of my future career goals is to reduce poverty. Steve told me that it was one of the most rewarding experiences of his life and I don’t doubt that. Being able to help people often makes one feel better than helping themselves.
We shook hands and said our goodbyes at Aberdeen Station as they had to go, each giving our genuine blessings. This experience made me realize how easy it was to connect. You just need a small dose of affinity, a true desire to learn about other people, and voila! A friendship is created. Some people asked why I didn’t get their contact, but I think that’s beside the point in this case. I appreciated their willingness to share their story and our mutual experience of heartfelt sincerity.