The biggest lie taught to our children is the one surrounding the old, familiar adage, “don’t talk to strangers.” It’s difficult to express what a colossal mistake this is.
Without strangers, life would be dull.
Monday, I’m taking a trip to New York City to meet a stranger. We met on MissTravel.com, a website designed to help generous males meet females who like to travel. At first blush, it’s assumed that there will be strings attached, but experience has shown, with a careful screening process, it is possible to find a man who doesn’t have any intention of taking advantage of you. (Some are probably more scared of me than vice versa.) Rest assured, it’s not the first time I’ve traveled with a stranger. And 99% of the time, they are great people.
Let me tell you about my cat.
Buddy is wild. He has an identical brother, named Slasher, even more wild. Both cats are jet-black, each is missing the tip of his right ear, a signal that they’ve been neutered by the Feral Cat Coalition. Despite identical looks and shared upbringing, they are very different.
It’s not hard to see, animals have unique personalities. They vary in one critical way:
Slasher is driven by fear, in a constant state of panic and aversion, while Buddy has discovered the rewards of courage and affection. As they have matured, the pair of inseparable kittens became two distinct individuals:
Slasher is a creature of the night – he prefers to stay unseen, trusting no one. Meanwhile, Buddy spends most of his time within earshot of the house, so whenever I come outside for a cuddle, he is there for me.*That unconditional love and devotion feels good. I can always count on him for comfort when needed.
I’d wager a bet that his life is more enjoyable than his brothers’. Since making friends with a human, Buddy enjoys primary access to food & shelter. If they weren’t neutered, I have no doubt that Buddy’s kin would be better-off. This is an example of how the development of social intelligence is an important step in evolution, no matter what species you’re a part of.
E Plubris Unum
Cooperation has been utilized since long before humans walked the earth. Fossils and other remnants of some of the earliest lifeforms display signs of collaboration. Teamwork gives us the ability to share resources, various abilities and skills, where together we are much more than a sum of our parts. It’s going to require synchronization on a global scale, if we are going to overcome humanity’s current challenges.
Group effort, versus catastrophe.
As we are driven by fear, fear of what’s different, fear of strangers, fear of change… we are crippled, missing out on an entire realm of potential that extends far beyond the limits of our imagination.
DO talk to strangers. It has been strangers who have been there for me, along the ups and downs, for my entire life’s path. Angels. They enrich our lives in countless ways…
Strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet. Lets play!