Pam and I recently took a walk along the Muskegon Channel. The plan was to spend a few minutes walking and feeding the mallard ducks that inhabited the channel.
We fed the ducks and a swan. Afterwards, we walked towards the end of the pier and turned around.
As we made our way back to our vehicle, there was an opportunity to meet someone new.
He was a fisherman. Throwing his fishing line into the water, trying to catch walleye. He also had a name, Al, and a story to tell.
Passing him by, I decided to throw out the question you ask fishermen, “Have you caught anything today?”
This simple question led us to learn about the life of Al, and that of his father’s. We met someone new and we learned quite a bit.
We learned Al:
Took care of his father during the last years of his life
Served in the military during Vietnam
Al’s father served in World War II with General George Patton
Enjoys fishing for walleye
Was a member of the Iron Workers
Helped build the walls of the Muskegon Channel
Worked in Chicago 500+ feet in the air
Lives just minutes from us
There was more we learned about Al but I think you get the drift. Al shared a lot with us the evening we met him.
And I’m grateful for the opportunity to have met this man. He seemed grateful as well. He also seemed hopeful we would meet again on the channel wall.
I hope so too.
You may be asking yourself, “What’s the point of all of this?” Trust me, there’s a reason I told this story.
I want to encourage you to go out and meet new people. Someone you’ve never met, they could be a stranger on the street or a person who attends your church. Just find someone you’ve never met.
And then go strike up a conversation.
You never know who you’ll meet or the story they’ll share. Yet I guarantee you’ll walk away better than you were before. You’ll also change the life of the person you took the time to meet and listen to.
People are dying to tell their story. They want to know they’re important. They want someone to listen to them.
You could be this person. You could offer someone the opportunity to express themselves and share brief glimpses into their lives.
You’ll hear cool stories, like how Al’s dad served alongside General Patton. Or how 20-30 people either lost their lives or were badly injured while building buildings.
My life was enriched by giving a few moments of my time to a stranger. I guarantee your life can be changed as well.