I shuttle for Airpark Auto Service a couple of times a week. What that means is a glorified bus driver for customers who are dropping their car off to be fixed or have called because their car is fixed and need someone to come and drive them back to the shop. I love shuttling customers as I have the privilege of meeting very interesting people with very interesting jobs and experiences in life. A computer programer for farm tractors. Salesman for large industrial washers and dryers. Buyer for retail shops in hotels throughout the world. Shoe salesman who makes frequent trips to Italy to buy shoes for his shop. Retired person who works full time for the special olympics. About every profession you could name I have probably shuttled them two and from the shop.
Yesterday was an interesting experience. I decided to drive Nadine to work because I would be back at the shop later to help her close. There were two individuals who needed to go to work and worked in buildings within a mile of each other. I opened the door for each of them and introduced myself and they in turn introduced themselves to one another. I usually ask what type of work they invest their lives in and when I did this, a conversation ensued between John and Bill. As they began to ask questions, commonality began to percolate with each question. They worked in different companies, but one company was owned by the other. They at one time worked in the same building clear across the country in the same company. They married friends of the other person. They couldn’t stop talking about the commonality of their past and present lives.
None of this would have happened had no questions been put on the table (or in the shuttle van as was the case). How often do we pass someone in the car or on the street, or in a building and never connect with them and miss out on the possibility of creating a new connection.
In order to connect with someone, you have to slow down and say “Hello”. It may mean asking a question or two to someone new that comes into our lives. Who know’s what kind of community is waiting for us if we only take some time to get to know people around us.
On this journey, new friends are sometimes only a question away.