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Screw not talking to strangers

August 31st, 2008 No comments

Not all conversations are the same. Or at least, they don’t have to be.

Every day, we talk about the same things that we talked about yesterday. We spark various levels of mutual interests with people that are ultimately similar to us. It’s not our fault. We’re just pre-positioned that way.

By default, we’re pushed towards sameness in our own personal versions of normalcy. Our household incomes afford us the ability to live in this or that neighborhood. Our educations, or lack-there-of, bind us through employment. Goals and ambitions pull us into similar friendship groups (business clubs, PTAs and even the blogs we read). While what we are closest to day in and day out is vastly similar to our own reflection, there’s a bigger pool out there of people that, really, are nothing even remotely close to you. My best quick example that usually comes as a shocker within groups I usually find myself faced with with is this: according to various sources linking back to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average household brings in just under $50.1k and supports roughly 2.5 people. A deeper look into that shows the average home contains just under 2 adults and just over 1 child, so quite a few single parent homes with multiple kids.

While this seems obvious enough, you’d be amazed by how many conversations about target audiences and consumer groups wind up with various conclusions of the same rather self-centric mind-frame: “the focus group of one.” This is when a person in the conversation (It’s been me at times. I’ll admit it), uses themselves at the example of why (not) a target will (not) do/think/feel/eat/buy something. It ultimately ends with the grandest of all irrefutable arguments, “I wouldn’t do that.”

“Well. Okay. But, you weren’t the topic of this conversation, were you,” is always what I’m left wanting to say.

Instead, what I challenge is this: Screw not talking to strangers.

While it goes against everything that our mothers taught us, we do meet the strange (or otherwise, people unlike us). In the middle. In between. In the bathroom. At a gas station. In an airport. In a bar, in an unfamiliar part of town.

Take advantage of that awkward “elevator situation” and have a real conversation. Not about the weather. But about life. Family. Love. Loss. ..A real conversation. Share: honestly, openly and, most importantly, forgivingly. And then, do it again.

You might not only learn something new about how a bigger part of the population lives (remember, household is under $50.1k.. individual incomes are under $20k.. suits are out..), but you might find that one of your favorite conversations of the month wound up being with someone that didn’t speak much English at all.

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Curb Your Enthusiasm

August 24th, 2008 No comments

So, here it is. A blog. For me. And anyone that wants to read along.

Are you excited? ..I know I am.

>keepin’ it short and simple, to start<

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