Awhile back I came upon a video titled “Take a Seat – Make a Friend?” It was about this random plastic ball pit on the road and two strangers would sit inside and there would be questions written on balloons. And after answering some questions, the two strangers will leave the ball pit as friends.
Now I don’t exactly know if this whole video was scripted, but it was still a nice video that gave me fuzzy feelings inside. But if it were me and I saw this random ball pit with a sign above it that says, “Take a seat, make a friend”, I’d probably just walk right past it with a doubtful glance and a double check on the time.
However, today an event like that happened to me.
It was raining today and I was waiting in line to get on my bus at the bus station. As I waited, I noticed that every person in line was holding an umbrella except for the girl behind me who was getting soaked under the hood of her sweater. And out of nowhere, I just turned around and these words escaped from my mouth: “Do you want to share my umbrella?”
The girl looked up with surprised eyes, smiled, and thanked me before coming under my umbrella. We chatted for a bit as we continued to wait for the bus. And when the bus came, she ended up sitting next to me as well. We found some shared experiences such as attending the same school, having previously taken the same courses, and having participating in some wacky psychology experiments (for money to buy food…).
Reflecting back on it now, I’m not really sure what came over me when I offered to share my umbrella. I’d say I am a friendly person, but not so friendly that I frequently strike up conversations with strangers. However, the chat between us flowed well and it didn’t feel awkward or creepy at all. When we got off the bus, we exchanged names and a friendly good-bye.
And this is my happy-moment story of the week.
I might never see this girl again. But the next time I am waiting in line and I see someone without an umbrella, I think I will offer to share mine again. And if I ever actually do come upon a random ball pit, I might just go in and sit.
I hope everyone is enjoying the first month of Spring and remember: share your umbrella! (Unless you really don’t want to… I can’t do anything about it…)
When we’re connected to others, we become better people.
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture