One of the first lessons parents teach their children is never to talk to strangers. Although common rules are engraved into my head, I'm too headstrong to follow them. It was on a hot New Orleans day when I was proud of my inability to follow these rules. After a long day's work, my service group and I headed down to McDonald's to refuel. A meager looking man attempted to make conversation with some of the girls. Clearly their parents taught them well because each of them was uncomfortable engaging in conversation with the stranger. I on the other hand, approached the man. We managed to jump from a conversation about a television show called “Cash Cab” to discussing his experience of Hurricane Katrina. I watched as the man slowly broke down before me with tears in his eyes as he recited his story. When he finished, he bestowed upon me the gift of own life lessons. As I was about to leave, he asked me one last question. “How would you spend your last day,” he asked. His question caught me off guard; however, I knew my answer. I told him I would want to be happy. Happiness for me is found being with my family and friends. He looked deeply into my eyes, nodded his head, and silently walked away. Every time I see a stranger, I know he or she might hold potential danger or threat. However, we must look pass the trepidation and silently embrace others as our brothers and sisters.
Magic at Mickey-D's
November 11, 2011