Many years ago, someone told me that strangers are friends you have yet to come to know. It was an ‘aha’ moment back then. How true isn’t it? ‘Stranger’ becomes a temporary word used to describe someone we do not know by name. If we know the name of a person, that person would become an associate or an acquaintance or in a more intimate term – a friend.
If strangers are friends you have yet to come to know, how would you have treated strangers or people you are meeting for the first time? Would you have treated strangers with the same intimacies that you used for treating friends? With love, kindness and respect.
Some people would have said that they don’t treat all friends the same way; it depends on the closeness of the friends. And some people would say, “We can choose a friend. If we don’t like the person, we can choose not to be associated with him/her again.” Indeed, when we are choosing friends, we have a choice to a large extent. We can just let the person we dislike be remained as a working associate with no personal relation other than work.
Then recently, while I was reading Mitch Albom’s book, ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven,’ he mentioned in his book, “Strangers … are just family you have yet to come to know.” Mitch Albom has brought the meaning of ‘stranger’ to a higher level – to one which we do not have a choice.
Just as the saying goes, “one cannot choose ones father and mother or siblings or relatives.” Everyone comes as a package when you were born. Over the past 33 years, I am grateful to be showered with unconditional love and compassion whether it is from my parents, siblings and relative.
For one who has experience unconditional love and compassion from family, should I not bestow the same unconditional love and compassion to strangers especially if strangers are family I have yet to come to know? Mitch Albom’s words put a new meaning to the word ‘stranger.’ A deeper and more intimate meaning.
Quoting something from Mitch Albom’s book, ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven, “… there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind.”
If Strangers are family you have yet to come to know, how would you be treating them? With the same unconditional love and compassion?
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Simply beautiful and also true in the way that I believe also!!
Great share, thank you and happy weekend,
@ Jackie, if we could treat strangers with loving kindness and compassion as we would have treated our family, then I believe the World will be a better place for everyone. Have a great weekend too! 🙂
@ A. I agree with you; such thought should not only be on the people we may meet on a daily basis, but also on people who are stricken by poverty or disease. And we should indeed be helping them in any way within our powers.
This is very inspiring. I’ve to agree with you, if only everybody will treat everyone with loving kindness, then I couldn’t ask for more.
Have a blessed weekend.
Lizas last blog post..Serving Water
@ Liza, indeed, if everyone will treat each other with loving kindness, then it would be a better World to live in. Have a great weekend too. 🙂
Nowadays, we are become too distant to each other,Even don’t know the name of our neighbors.
That’s not what we want.
@ iWalk, I agree with you. Most doors are closed these days and sometimes you won’t even know who is staying besides you. I remember the older days of my grandparents where they were staying in Kampong(a Malay word for village), basically they knew everyone in the village. But these days where everyone is working in the whole, and at most time the house is emptied, it doesn’t make any sense to have the doors open also.
i miss my village, everyone is friendly not in big city, everyone sometimes do not know each other
Lylas last blog post..Download from YouTube
@ Lyla, yeah, people tend to look after each other in a village. Where in big city, people tend to be looking out for themselves.
Hi my mate!
Yes. That’s why I always treat each person that I do not know with respect. I assume that each person is GOOD until I know them. However, this notion of trusting everyone has given me a lot of troubles and I always get taken advantage of. I’m still questioning if it is wrong to do so??
Sherxrs last blog post..Guest Posting: The Multitasking Food Processor
@ Sher, glad to hear from you. Yes, you are right to treat each person with respect. Sometimes, it may be better to be ‘wrong’ then to be right. I believe in boomerang effect.
This is interesting to ponder over, especially since I live in NYC where strangers don’t even make eye contact.
I agree with some of the comments above, that unfortunately we don’t seem to be so friendly with strangers these days. Also, I’m not very good meeting new people (just feel awkward), but at the same time I always try not to judge them and remember that I don’t know them yet.
@ Penny, I am glad that I finally managed to get your comment out of the spam box. I’ll sure add your domain to the Whitelist so that when you comment in the future, hopefully it will be approved automatically.
You are right that most people don’t seem friendly with strangers these days, especially for people living in the city. I can feel quite awkward when meeting new people too. You comment just reminds me something; we may feel awkward when meeting new people but the least we can do is to smile. A smile is an international language that even a baby will understand. 🙂
@ Tiffany, I believe this is not the case in NYC only. It is also happening in most big cities in the World. You just point out something important to me. Even before we start treating strangers with loving kindness and compassion, we must first start with eye contact and a smile to ‘break the ice.’
I noticed almost 70-80% of new strangers I’ve met, when I approach them like with the mindset of “I like this person” usually they ended up to be my good friends, or at least longer span of friendship compared to those that I already have skeptical mindset from the start. Good Topic 🙂
VanillaSevens last blog post..Swans in the Sunset
@ Vanilla, for Chinese, there is a saying that goes something like this, “your facial expression/image is a direct reflection of your thought or from your heart.” Probably that explained why most people who you approached with ‘I like this person’ mindset usually ended up being your good friends and likewise when you were skeptical about the person. It takes a lot of practice not to have a pre-perceive idea of a new person we are just meeting.
Great. We can extend our love of our children to others’ children; we can respect the other elders as our own parents. It is called lovekindness.
I also put your blog on my love blog: splendidlove.blogspot.com
Jades last blog post..Be Free
@ Jade, well said! I couldn’t have put it better myself; loving others’ children like our own and respecting other elders like our own parents. And could we also look upon people around our age like brothers or sisters? Thank you for putting me at your love blog. 🙂
I was searching on the internet and came across your blog and upon reading your title “Strangers are family you have yet come to know” has stopped me in my tracks…I must tell you this article has touched my heart and is words for all to live by.
@ Meagan, glad that you like the article and thank you for dropping by.
But what if you met in the wrong circumstances and hate each other?
@ Adia, it really depends on what are the wrong circumstances you mean?
i totally agree on this article.from where i’m from, people you don’t know are your worst enemy. but the funniest thing is that when you meet them and know them better they actually become like a sister/brother to you.
Thank you Kiwaly for sharing your personal experience. It really depends on how we are treating people around us. There be always be people who would take advantage of that no doubt; let us just treat them like family anyway.