When Strangers Meet How People You Don’t Know Can Transform You by Kio Stark published by Simon & Schuster is a wonderful book and when I picked up it for reading and reviewing it, I did it because I am a real chatter and there is nothing I love the most, maybe because I am a reporter, maybe because I am a curious one than to meet new people. Continuously.
I have always been someone who loved to be surrounded by occasional "friends" as I call them. When I was little and at the sea I loved to keep busy everyone around me inviting a lot of children at lunch at the house of aunt Nena. "Come with me" I told them. "Are you sure?" "Of course I am! You'll lunch with me."
Parents of these children more than happy to leave their children with us and enjoying some time alone.
I didn't know them, we played just some time all together but they were my friends just for the fact that they existed and that they were in this world and they were playing with me.
I am a Sagittarius. It says a lot.
My favorite places are bus or trains where I can talk and share my life, opinions with people. I know that I won't never meet them anymore but it is beautiful because of course it's not just a wonderful experience but a personal enrichment.
I don't like the first class in train because people are too absorbed by themselves, too taken by their own life for starting a conversation. It's real boring time. I prefer when I buy a ticket in second class, where there is an entire universe to explore. Students, families, workers, a real world.
Let's see...When I 16-17 years I met a Canadian photographer in the train. My english wasn't great (I don't want to say that it is perfect now), he told me he was in the area for taking pictures for some photographic book. He presented me a pin of Canada. I still have it somewhere.
Another time I met while I was walking to Rome, I think I was going at the American Embassy, a girl.1991-1992 maybe. I told her where she was from and she said me she was from Costa Rica and she was in the city for studying.
I also met two times the same guard at the American Embassy of Rome and I chatted with him with pleasure. "I am a Romano de Roma from various generations" he told me proudly.
Various months ago I went to a close city taking the bus and we started to chat about economy, works, policy, you know with three, four people. One of them, immigrant realized a big dream: a farm and it gives work to a lot of people. I remembered that the driver of the bus when the trip was over and I was leaving said me: "Look: I want to thank you. You made my day. It was an age, trust me, an age that I didn't talk anymore as I did today with someone as I did with you and the other ones. I thank you so much again! People now are so taken by their own private universe, the net, their smart phones. It's a closed world. And it is very sad." Talking we discovered that we were born the same year.
Once I met an American couple in our city. I asked them if they were Americans. They said me yes, in vacation in our city, Gubbio, and after the italian tour they would have left for Israel where their daughter was working in.
Another time I met a man from India. He had a certain age and he was impressive because he wore a red turban and thanks to him I was transported in a spiritual place and I could feel that I wasn't anymore here but in India. I felt the smell of chai tea, I felt the sounds and colors of that country. He had a long and white beard. He told me of his life, his arrival in Italy his meeting with his wife Anna, and his life in our region.
These people not part of my destiny, but part of my life for a personal growth, for enlarging my visions for becoming someone more opened.
Their role is to touch my soul for let me see the world in its totality and with all its colors.
They touched my life and for sure I don't forget them although maybe I spoke with them more than 20 years ago, or just half-year ago or two weeks ago or when I was little.
I do love to say hi to everyone. When I go to the hospital I try to talk to the people close to me while I wait for the visit. I smile although my smile is not perfect but maybe it's able to keep people...smiling.
I don't understand why we should all stay closed in our own universe made by our own problems without understanding that we should be all interconnected, maybe just for few minutes.
I see a lot of sadness at the moment and worries when I go to the supermarkets for shopping. I know worries are many: work, payments, bills. People are more unhappy than the past. I tell to myself: let's try to count the blessings that we have. Let's try to count them.
To me the skin color is not a problem but I live in a little and pacific city and it makes the difference. There is a different social control than not in a big city.
This book by Kio Stark is impressive. I wanted to give a personal contribution with my personal experience as a chatter but trust me: I was impressed reading this book. It's very well structured, very well written, sophisticated in the thoughts, the personal experience of this writer are the one of a person living in a big city and so with different interconnection with unknown people.
People are diffident, they're all taken by their own problems.
Sure, trying to make some friendship just for some minutes it's possible.
Policy, weather, the latest book read, current events, more than possible topics. For not staying isolated just with our smart phone, tablet. Because dialogue is important.
In general it is true these meetings don't have any future but they let us grow. They let us grow.
In the book the author talks of neighbors, seen as of course pretty unknown people. Living in a countryside I can tell that I live everyone as a large family, but we are 80 in total! When I went to Rome for working it was exactly as described by the author of the book. As remarked more than 50% of people now live in city in this world.
It's not that you don't want to know your neighbors, just there is no time, because absorbed by work and then the house, some living, ending up to meet your circle of friends, defining your life with them and into them.
You tell to your neighbors hi, good morning but that's it, when it happens.
Kio Stark analyzes also the relationship with strangers via net.
Kio talks of sharing our experiences, human experiences with people of different religion and in this sense I am there as well.
I try to be good with everyone because I think that we are all part of this world. It's policy in this sense for Stark, because understanding the diversity of similarities that there are between all of us can enrich our interior world, making a difference in the way we see for example a group of people.
Sharing knowledge, understanding our world a first step for inclusion and a first step for a better tomorrow.
The book is brief but intense, felt and of great quality.
I suggest it to everyone.
I thank NetGalley and Simon&Schuster for this ebook.
Anna Maria Polidori