Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A World Without Strangers

There's a store I went to in Korea called Giordano. A friend from Australia that I taught with in Seoul had heard of it, but I've never seen this store in Canada before or after. The store had shirts with the saying "A world Without Strangers." We both loved it. I still have a tank top with the saying. It's old and doesn't fit correctly anymore, but I love it. The saying means so much.

I haven't thought about it in a long time. It wasn't until I was trying to think of a title for this entry. I was going to call it 'The Kindness of Strangers'. But that's pretty cliche.

I had a pretty good day at work. It's been busy lately, so I've had a lot to do, and I love it. I love being busy, and feeling like I'm doing something. It slowed down late afternoon.

When 5:00 finally came around, I went to put on my boots. Nice reliable winter boots. Good for walks in snow. When I tried to pull the zipper down so I could get my feet into them, it wouldn't budge. I couldn't get it to move up or down. So I decided to just stuff my foot in -turned out to be the wrong decision because the zipper actually broke.

So I left work all bundled up with one broken zippered boot. Now, although it's not a big deal, I am the type of person that can let that ONE thing in a day full of good things bug the hell out of me. I was mad, and I was upset that I might have to buy new boots, or get the stupid zipper fixed. I was imagining the back of my foot getting a blister because it was rubbing on the back of my boots. In all reality, it was a bit uncomfortable, but not really making it a problem to walk in.

I walk all the way home along a trail next to the river. Every day. I love it. Today of course, I didn't. Hard to love things when you're content on being grumpy. I sometimes have trouble passing people. This is going to sound bad, but I find it awkward to HAVE to smile at them if I happen to catch their eyes. I sometimes just stare straight ahead, or check my phone... or sometimes I smile at them. I passed one person, and ignored the fact that I had (because I was in my grumpy phase). There was somebody coming up behind him though. An lady in her late 40s maybe. Before I had a chance to look away, she gave me a huge (and real) smile. I smiled back. As I passed her, she gestured towards the river and said, "Isn't it beautiful?" I looked. It was beautiful.

Strange how a complete stranger can put things into perspective.

And a little more about the clothes and what their view was on the phrase: "The phrase, “a world without strangers”, implies a world where neither nationalities, class, ethnicity nor gender divide people. It is a utopia that everyone wishes for. For Giordano, this widely held ideal is one of the primary ideas behind its marketing image." From: http://sacom.hk/category/campaigns/giordano

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