The tinny voice crackled through the speaker, but I heard it crystal clear: “You made my day!”
I looked up from my car window into that bank window, and the woman was grinning from ear to ear. And laughing. In a strange moment of “random stranger” connectedness, I made this lady happier than she seemed to have been in awhile.
So what did I do, you ask?
Simple. When I pulled rolled down the window and she asked me, “How can I help you today?” I sent my three deposits through the tube and asked, “Do you have a good brownie recipe? I’m hungry.”
I wasn’t hungry. And I didn’t particularly think it was that funny of a joke. It’s just what I do; I meet someone, I try to make them laugh. It’s just what I do, or how I interface with the world.
So when somebody tells me, “You made my day” by something I consider to be silly and transactional, a few things go through my head.
A) She’s had a really dull day.
B) She has a really dull life.
C) I’m funnier than I think I am.
D) This stuck out as a strange moment of connection between two complete strangers. A rare moment of sincerity in a sea of routine. Something real.
Looking those over, I would guess her day had probably bored her, that her life wasn’t bad, and that I’m likely not any funnier than anyone else. So without a doubt, I know it’s “D.” Why?
Because as much as I love getting a chuckle out of people, I CRAVE real moments with people. Little snippets in time where we stop the routine, we break the rules, we interrupt our patterns, and live, right then and there, with another human.
Whether it’s a laugh over a bank intercom, a Free Hug with some sweaty weirdo on the sidewalk, or holding the hand of someone who looks like their world got ripped in half today, we need to share these times with each other.
What can you do today to share a random moment of sincere connection with a stranger?