Saturday, 7 February 2015

Missing Opportunities on Train Tracks

The white blanket that covered the earth was swooshing by. Trains moving past each other ricochet wind in a manner that made you know two trains were passing each other, even when your eyes couldn't quite grasp it. 
"Do you read?" he asked me, handing me a Time Magazine. He was an older man and I just happened to sit next to him on a train from Rotterdam to Amsterdam. 
"Née, dankje," I responded. 
For some reason, even this small gesture surprised me. He was a Caucasian man, drenched in all his privilege, if I were to judge the book by its cover. He wore dark jeans that seemed to be suit pants at first glance, but in fact not, on further inspection. 
He wore a button down shirt dressed in a blue sweater that I assumed he layered with a down coat given the weather. 
I did not get much more than that. Eyes, hair, facial construction; it swept past me or rather, I failed to observe it. 
...and there in lies the trouble of assumptions. The opportunity resulted in missing out on getting to know someone that my destiny had brought me elbow distance with. One could say that every human encounter is not always one that necessitates exploring, but with the amount of people that remain to be met and learned from, I cannot continue to sleep on the opportunity. 

I have had the opportunity to meet strangers that have changed my life, altered my perspective and completely hurdled me to places that might otherwise never have been reached, and such is the beauty of strangers and my encounters with them. More valuable than any possession or any materialist experience, is the experience granted to you from befriending a stranger. 

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