We are all strangers – until we learn enough to be friends.

This week I had an absolutely amazing experience. I met with over 60 people from all over the United States and from various places around the world. We were all there for a training session about culture and leadership. Before I got there I knew a few names. But I didn’t really “know” anyone. I realized something during this experience. I could have remained strangers with everyone there. But I made a choice and so did many of them. It was the choice to learn about each other. As a result they are no longer strangers.

Toward the end of our experiences together, we took this group photo. This way we will always remember the time we spent together. But we also have memories, feelings, things we learn from each other and in some cases new friendships. This can only happen when you are positive and open to new things. You have to be open to change. Realize that your perspective can be adjusted when you encounter someone with a different perspective.

Some people at this event spoke different languages. But there were some things we found to be universal. Those things were: Music, laughter, enjoying a cold refreshment after walking the 95° heat, wanting to call or text our loved ones back home, being competitive and wanting to stay connected after the experience.

I am not saying that sharing a common experience makes everyone best friends. But if during that common experience you take time to genuinely get to know each other friendships can start.

The event that I attended was held in Orlando, Florida. After the event was over I was able to visit Walt Disney World. My first stop was on my favorite ride “it’s a small world.” I love this ride even though many people may see it as outdated in its design. Why? Because the song that goes with the ride is so true,

“It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears

It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears

There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware

It’s a small world after all…”

Do your part to make this smaller world. Take a risk. Get to know people. You may go from being strangers to friends. Be inspired. Positively inspired.

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