In college, a good friend of mine introduced himself to others not with the rote “How are you,” but rather, “Hi, I’m Tom. What’s your story?”
It threw me off, as it always seemed abrasive. I dismissed it as maybe some kind of “raised-in-Brooklyn thing.” Yet, I couldn’t overlook the responses he received.
After the usually initial reaction of shock, those that did not reply with “Huh?” opened themselves up with a sometimes startling level of intimacy, revealing not what they did for a living or reciting the social version of name, rank, and serial number; but rather where they had been, how they felt, and what made them tick.
Each of us carries with us a story waiting to be told, given the right opportunity.
Equally true is that we all ascribe storylines to people we see, which may or may not be accurate. As long as we’re into this area of metaphor, it’s the counterpart of judging a book by its cover. [Read more…]