By: Ryan Roberts, Guest Blogger
Every kid learns the phrase “never speak to strangers” and for good reason. There is a lot of bad in the world, so much that parents try to shelter their children from the unknown in order to keep them safe. Personally, my mom reminded me of these words every time I left the house when I was young, but my dad had a different take on things.
He had a very rough childhood, to say the least. He grew up on the streets and was involved in gang activity at the all too young age of twelve. The “strangers” on the streets became his family. When my brother and I were growing up he warned us of all of the dangers that we might face in the world, but he also taught us to always give people a chance to prove their worth. My father is to this day one of the most accepting people I know—and because of this I am able to make friends/connections everywhere I go.
Being accepting of all types of people does not mean that you have to like them or understand them, it just means keeping an open mind and trying to understand their story. I visited home recently and my mom said “you never were very good at avoiding strangers, but it works for you.” She said this because I recently got the opportunity to meet my favorite hip hop artist, Logic, all because of a “stranger” who read my blog. The stranger was Logic himself and he happened to stumble across a post I wrote about our similar childhoods, how I admired him for rapping about the positive sides of life, and the fact that he doesn’t have lyrics that are vulgar towards women like the majority of rappers.
Others from his music label, Visionary Music Group, stumbled onto my blog after this and connected with me as well and I became good friends with a few of them. I have since had the opportunity to meet the majority of those involved with VMG and the music world in general all because I tried to get to know a “stranger.”
Like normal, strange is a relative word.
When was the last time you opened your mind to accept someone new?
- Challenge yourself to have a simple conversation with someone new or someone you don't know all that well. Be open to who they are and what they might have to teach you!
Ryan has completed her Marketing BBA and Political Science AA and currently works as a graphic designer. Her passion tends to consume her, she writes too much, and she loves hip-hop.
image via quarterlifeprocess.com