This is how stories start

“But silence is not a natural environment for stories. They need words.Without them they grow pale, sicken and die. And then they haunt you.” Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale


I have a friend who interviews everyone he meets.

He's not an obnoxious inquisitor, nor does he force a conversation where the signals clearly communicate "Do Not Disturb."  He simply asks people about their story.

Where are you from? How long have you lived here? How has your day been? Are you having a good week?

Simple, elegant questions are his staple.

He makes an effort to peek into the window of people's lives and invites them to come out and share themselves. I'm sure his approach doesn't always work, but I've never seen him leave an interaction where another person is a stranger.

I asked him about this habit once, wondering why he's so consistently curious.

It took him a minute to reply.

"Well, I have yet to meet someone who doesn't have something to teach me."

He gave me examples and spoke volumes about the types of stories he collected, and I realized his life is richer because he notices people.

After watching him warm up every room he enters, I realize if I decide to walk through the world disengaged, I lose, but when I ask questions, all kinds of stories unfold before me.

Do you ever feel that way?

How well do you seek out and listen to the stories around you?