Good morning all, Sam here. How are you doing?
We are half way through February already, focusing on kindness and I came across an appropriate old blog post that written when I first came to London after a year travelling. I wanted to share some of it with you…
I've never liked the idea of living in London... The hustle, the bustle and the seemingly unfriendly people. When I arrived back from my 10 weeks in Italy last year (2014) I remember missing the random conversations I was having with local vendors or even just locals on the street. This time around (2015), I've come back from months travelling around more far-flung countries, having made many random acquaintances, whether it's friends, friends of friends or temporary "colleagues"... I've joined a job that requires me to chat to people every day and I'm coming to realise that actually... People are not as unfriendly as I first thought.
And not only that, but I'm starting to actually really like London!
I really value good customer service... Great service at a running shop led me to buying a £109 pair of trainers as opposed to the £80 ones an opposing store tried to sell me (poorly). I pride myself on giving great “customer” service in my work... But I like to think it's just me being me... By being a great human being you can end up having a positive influence on people close to you and strangers alike.
Think about it... How do you feel when someone (genuinely) tells you to have a lovely day, or you are complimented on your nice hair/jacket/earrings... That warm glow sticks with you and gets shared around with people that you then bump into!
I've found myself doing in London exactly what I had been missing about Italy; going into a shop/cafe and ending up having conversations with the staff or even other customers. Of course this doesn't work everywhere, which is one of the reasons I prefer to avoid big-chain supermarkets for example... And why I avoid the strange bloke with a beard muttering to himself at the tube station...
It's sometimes difficult to remember that people are just people... Behind a uniform their "position" in terms of a job may be regarded by others as more or less worthy than the next person, but in life we all are "positioned" as equals.
Similarly, we all have bad days, we all go through tough times... The woman who is rude to you on the street, or the guy who tuts at you for taking too long at the self-service checkout... They may just be having one of those days... And maybe they don't have much contact with the awesome people I've managed to find on a day-to-day basis.
Of course, I'm not suggesting we all go out and talk to every stranger you meet... I'm just suggesting that being prepared for a little friendly conversation can make both of your days much brighter.
Keep being awesome... You will just receive awesomeness in return.
Sam & Ashley