I’m grateful for naturally warm and friendly people. I know that in many big cities, sadly, there can often develop a personal space-preserving, blank-wall defensive mechanism. For example, sullen commuters barely tolerating each other’s presence in a cramped and crowded underground train will simply radiate hostility, tiredness and grumpiness. Approaching someone for help can trigger an immediately suspicious or weary look. And smiling at people less and less often evokes requited behaviour. It’s sad. It’s tiring and draining for all concerned. So, in any big or new city, whenever I meet people who are naturally, spontaneously friendly, warm and helpful– that is, people like the kind of person I hope I am when I’m in a pleasant mood and am not exhausted or upset– I just feel so grateful that they still exist, that they dare to be vulnerable and show their true natures, that they haven’t wrapped themselves in a tempered-glass wall. That they still value connection and are willing to take a chance on strangers, still believing in the best of people.
I’m grateful for the people who are still brave enough to be friendly in a hostile world.