I took my usual lunch time walk around Rittenhouse Square today in Center City, Philadelphia. I was approached by someone from an non-profit organization.
I almost walked past her as she initiated conversation with me, because, from experience as this happens often, I knew I was going to be asked for something, most likely money, and because I don’t like to be put on the spot with some “sales pitch.”
But today, I stopped and listened. I listened to her story. And what I found in that interaction was someone like me. She was trying to share a message about something I could tell she was passionate about. I could see it in her eyes, hear it in her words, feel it in the space we held. I listened, asked for a website to refer to later, and encouraged her to keep sharing her message.
Whether it be saving the children (like the young woman I interacted with today), promoting health and wellness (like myself), or gathering community together with a particular purpose, benefit, or cause in mind, there are people that stand with a passion, for varying reasons. But everyone has a story to tell.
I encourage you, the next time you get an opportunity, to just stop, listen, and receive a story. Allow someone to share their story with you. Allow the other person to put their story into this world.
– mandee m.
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