FOUR THINGS TO ASK A STRANGER (almost a parody)

Welcome to Mary Anne Radmacher's blog.

One way to get to know a person you've just met is to ask them to tell you about their favorite friends. It's said that a person essentially becomes an aggregate of the five people with whom they spend the most time.

There's another telling question to ask a stranger. It's all about a book.

1) Is there one book that you have re-read and will read again (and again)?
2) What is the most recent book that you've read and what stands out to you most?
3) What is the title of a book you recommend most often to friends?
4) What was the last book you read that made you so sad when it came to the end? (Because you wanted to keep on reading, not because the ending was sad!).

If the person you are just getting to know has never re-read a book, can't remember what stood out from the last book they read, doesn't recommend books to friends and has never felt sad to stop reading an excellent book...

I suggest that you stop conversing with them. And, perhaps, run. Kidding (not kidding). Perhaps you might consider striking up a conversation with someone else that you might want to get to know. AND start THAT conversation off by recommending a book you've recently read...

Monday, October 11, 2010

ordinarycourage.com

From now until Thanksgiving I am making a personal STAND (Start Today A New Direction) against bullying and for intentional, compassionate choices/actions.

Fifteen minutes after Shawn Nordin of THE COLOR BOX shaved my head and shared his own story of being bullied in high school, I went to the grocery store with my husband.

There a group of three young women found themselves unable to restrain their laughter at my bald head and the address lettered there (itgetsbetterproject.com). In my face, they laughed, jeeringly. I told myself they were laughing at something else. I told myself, "Not everything is about you, Mary Anne." I told myself they just happened to be laughing and I just happened to be walking by.

Five minutes later, when I encountered them again, I recognized that my assessment was not correct. They were laughing at me. And they laughed at me again. In my face. I'm 53 years old and I'm committed to this process and I have compassion for their insensitivity and insecurity. And in spite of that - I lost my voice. In spite of that, I did not feel good to be laughed at. I looked at them with disbelief and my kind husband guided me out of the store. And THAT is why it is so important to pay attention to the whole process involved in bullying. It is human nature to be drawn to people who are like you. It is possible, at the same time, to show kindness and tolerance toward people who are not like you. And, in fact, it is essential.

What will you STAND for today?

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