Yesterday I learnt a life lesson for myself which I would like to share with others.
Something simple involving communication and the human spirit.
I was travelling long distance from South Wales to Cumbria and for a short while I had my own space on the train; a nice table seat for two. In a very British (or is it English?) way I had piled my bags on the seat next to me to fend off any invasion of “my” space. As it came into Newport station I tucked myself into a book and kept my head down.
“Ooy move that bag!” A gruff voice moved me back to reality. The guard glowered at me as he helped a blind person take the seat next to me, I shuffled into my reduced space and the train moved out of the station.
After a few minutes I put my book down and I studied the man. He was Asian, in his late twenties, just staring into the blankness in front of his useless eyes. I was not sure what to do, I mean for heaven’s sake our hips were almost touching and I felt tongue tied and uncomfortable.
Anyway I cannot for the life of me remember how I started the conversation, but what followed was one of the most rewarding 30 minute conversations of my life. Salman had been a sound engineer and lost his eyesight only in the last two years and was now regularly travelling from London to Hereford where he was learning to read Braille as he intended to redirect his life and wished to study law.
His positive attitude towards this disastrous affliction at such a young age was awe inspiring, his sense of humour was infectious; we were laughing constantly, particularly when he told me that a girlfriend told him not to worry about his sex life now he was blind, ‘it might even improve,’ she said.
”And it has ,” Salman giggled,” I just don’t know who I’m having sex with!”
I made a friend for life that day, for some reason he felt grateful that I had not ignored him, when it was I who had been rewarded by the experience.
So I recommend talking to people every chance you get – people are so interesting, everyone is unique, everyone has a story worth sharing – just give them the opportunity to enrich your life.