Go Ahead, Sit With Strangers
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Go Ahead, Sit With Strangers

Look for an empty chair, not just an empty table!

116
Go Ahead, Sit With Strangers
www.uleth.ca

When you go to a coffee shop, do you look for an empty table, or just an empty seat?

Chances are high that you look for an empty table -- looking for a mere empty seat may suggest approaching a table where someone else occupies the other chair. Why is that such a bad thing, sharing a table? Not only does it give more room to coffee shop goers, but it strikes up friendly gestures -- you can learn a lot when you begin to sit with strangers.

I was in Starbucks -- or as I like to call it, an oasis in the desert -- the other day, in dire need of a grande iced caramel macchiato. It was a large shop, but the many tables were full; a special shout out to the student taking up three chairs with his books and backpack. I knew I should sit, breath, eat my bagel and enjoy my coffee...but where was I to do that? Certainly not next to the annoying lawyer-to-be, yet there seemed to be no empty tables.

But there were empty chairs.

I decided to break our society's norm, and approached a woman in her late 60s, asking her if she would mind sharing her table. She happily obliged, and shifted her belongings to make room for me. So far so good. As I sat down, we made some small talk; she asked if I worked in the city, so conversation naturally shifted to my job and my summer that I've spent exploring the streets of New York. She was very kind, and our conversation continued. We chatted about my school, and then we moved along to her family. Soon I knew the names of her son, daughter, and grandchildren, as well as the fact that she had always wanted to visit Oregon, my home state. In return, she was aware of my career dreams, education, and family life as well.

We continued talking, and soon we were knee-deep in age discrimination, the difference of work ethics among generations, and police tensions. Come to find out, both her son and son-in-law are in law enforcement. We spent quite some time talking about how she feared for both of them, but was never prouder. Both of us pondered at where our law enforcement would be in a few years, and how these tensions will impact the future for men in blue.

Soon, presidential elections were on our lips. We chatted the candidates, the parties, and the impending doom that is sure to occur come November. We learned each other's perspectives, backgrounds, and hopes.

Then the nice lady left our table, heading back to her house to meet her husband for dinner. I went back to my bagel and coffee, and reflected on the conversation I had just had. I would probably never see the nice woman again, yet she had brightened my day. I would go along with my errands, but I was bettered because of a chat with someone entirely random.

I had grown because I sat with a stranger.

Sitting with strangers allows for random things to happen. You may meet the next president...or you'll chat about them with the nice lady sipping a latte. I encourage you to try it out -- you never know what you may learn.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

83083
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

50232
loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets
StableDiffusion

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less
Adulting

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

983676
Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments