this world makes us afraid of each other, afraid of ourselves. we distrust strangers, simply because we do not know them. to open up, attempt connection, embark on conversation- we open ourselves up to the potential of misunderstanding, of cruelty, of obligation.
when we embark on conversation with strangers, we open up the possibility that the person will become significant somehow. perhaps we'll find we have something in common, perhaps we'll disagree. either way- there is an obligation that comes with the acknowledgment that one is more than another random face on the street. when ANYONE becomes SOMEONE- suddenly we care a bit about what happens to them. we become emotionally obligated to care.
in earlier times- conversing with strangers would have been a norm. it would have been a basic fact of daily life. but today, in our world of anonymous computerized grocery store checkouts, constant handheld communication devices interfering with opportunities to interact with people immediately around us, and rampant fear of anything unknown or different- life can be lonely and terrifying.
talking to strangers is nothing short of revolutionary.