After the show tonight, I was talking with my friend and colleague, Eric Forbis. I was pleased to hear that he had been diligently keeping up with this blog (I still get a swell of pride any time someone mentions they’ve been reading). Our conversation drifted over to family matters – Eric had recently had a son. Eric, like me, is an introvert, but he expressed a desire to have his son, in his words, “walk through the world and see the person coming toward him as a friend.”
This thought really struck me. We had also been discussing the Impresario, and how an Impresario sees relationships with people as paramount. For an introvert, this can sometimes be tricky – I know it was for me, and still is, in fact. But the idea of seeing a stranger as a friend, and starting from this assumption, could be a great way to start to operate in this worldview.
Trusting a stranger is certainly not what we were taught as kids, and it certainly doesn’t come without a degree of risk. And I’m not espousing that we should go around trusting every single person we see. But there is something to be said for the default setting of looking for the best in everyone we encounter.
“Smile, and the world smiles with you,” goes the saying, and I think it holds true when we meet a new person, or find ourselves in a room full of new people. Whether our role is simply to acknowledge a passersby, or to give a lecture, we can always start off on the right foot with a smile – or, at least, an awareness of the common fact of Humanity that we all share.
Operating from a paradigm of trust, things happen on a level beyond simply strangers “being nice” to each other. Psychological phenomenons take effect – we start to see what we expect, and others in turn do the same. We are free to expect what we like. If the trend were to start off expecting to meet a friend, then maybe seeing eye to eye would be all that’s left to do.