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Ralph

July 1, 2009

Some days I get onto the bus, mind my own business, and don’t talk to anyone.  I’m glad I didn’t do that today, because I wouldn’t have met Ralph.  Ralph is 82 years of age, 100% Swedish, and an incredible man.  We talked about the economy, the state of American consumerism, and the difference between today’s world of instant gratification and the days of his youth.  We also spent a good amount of time talking about the lack of concern for our fellow-man – the fact that we can sit on the bus surrounded by people, and never once even think about getting to know the person sitting next to us.  He said he couldn’t “iPod or myface, but that he always tried to get to know people with whom he comes in contact.  I could have sat there and talked with him for hours, but our obscenely short, twenty-minute bus ride came to a close all too soon.  We exited the bus, bid each other farewell and departed each others’ lives, just like that.

I forgot just how much I enjoy random conversations with people I hadn’t known prior.  I used to have them quite a bit, but seem to ahve become somewhat of a recluse in recent days, sticking to my circle of friends and co-workers.  I need to learn how to value chance meetings and conversations, because they truly are some of the most edifying experiences one can have.

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