This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!

To the strangers I’ve met and will continue to meet this week

I was a very shy kid when I was younger. One of my scariest moments as a child was when I visited my mom at her work, which was a senior care home. It was about 1986, and mom introduced me to one of her patients. I remember clutching my mom at the hip because I was afraid of the elderly lady. “What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?” the woman asked. I was even more terrified.

Fast forward 24 years, my niece Aaliyah is born and her upbringing is drastically different from mine. She is surrounded not only by her parents, but my parents (her secondary caregivers), and countless aunts, uncles, cousins, and grand-relatives. My sister had taken her to music and dance classes even before Aaliyah could walk, and I’m confident in saying that all of the people surrounding her have contributed to her almost-fearlessness in meeting strangers. I see this as a good thing, for she’ll be better equipped in social situations and as she gets older and starts her working life.

In the last couple of days I’ve met a few more strangers. One who lives in New York City, and a new client I’m excited to announce next week, whose muse I met last year at a Meetup. It occurred to me that it only takes one person (if that) to connect strangers, and it does not take long for strangers to become acquaintances, even friends.

At this weekend’s Vancouver Short Film Festival, local filmmaker Kate Green will show Not a Stranger, based on Colin Easton’s The Stranger Project. I’m looking forward to seeing them both!

I’m excited later today to join the Say Hi to a Stranger crew for the first time in 5 months to say hello to strangers at the SFU campus during Hi-FIVE Movement for Mental Health’s Winter Wonderland event. President of SFU Andrew Petter will be unveiling a plaque to recognize the first stigma-free zone on campus. It’s exciting that a campus is doing this, as they are important hubs for young adults and with so much discrimination in the world, we need spaces like this where we can feel safe.

Come join us for hellos and refreshments – and I hear there will be puppies!

Follow them on social media on Facebook, Twitter, and use the hashtags #SFUOpensUp, #YellowisforHello, and #SayHitoaStranger if you see and engage with us.

It’s amazing what one hello can do in the world – try it!

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