This past summer, as I was doing my missions trip up in Michigan, I got to meet a lot of unique people up there (cause I come from Texas, which is below Michigan :P). Whether it was people in my missions team, at my church, on the Michigan campus, or at the high school I worked at, I found that I had to interact and converse with others a lot.
On one hand, I was really nervous, because I was afraid that I would be judged or thought of as weird as an Asian-American Texan entering a Michigan-based or Detroit-Hispanic area. On the other hand, I was excited, because I enjoy meeting people, and I was looking forward to hearing what it was like to be in Michigan, and how people came to be where they were at.
I learned during that time that I could experience other people’s lives through their stories, and it has really shaped my mind over how I approach meeting new people. After being able to have a glimpse into other’s lives, I found that being exposed to new ways other’s think through situations as well as understanding what context they came from is actually quite enjoyable for me.
In fact, I’ve realized that each person has such a unique story that they have to share—life as a freshman in high school, feeling like they cheated their way into school, many explorations to foreign countries for environmental protection, an internship experience in California, an internal struggle on faith, an adamant search for the meaning of life through being open, and so much more.
And all this is learned from having the genuine intention of getting to know someone, not for personal gain or reasoning, but to experience another’s story and life.
That’s why I’m excited for this coming year — being able to catch up with friends I haven’t seen a while or meet with new people throughout the semester. I know that as I seek out more intentional interactions with others, I will, hopefully, dive deeper into the current friendships I have (weird as that metaphor may be), as well as catch a glimpse of a surface of the lives of those I meet.
So with this in mind, my question for you is:
What’s your story?