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?
Photo credit: coombesy