When Strangers Meet: How People You Don’t Know Can Transform You

We rated this book:


This is a charming little, (very little) book about striking up conversations with strangers and thus enlarging one’s world. The author makes the case that one can find emotional connections through an openness to the world around us. This is a wonderful concept at this time when society seems fractured and many of us fear strangers. The book is companion to a TED talk by the author. The author feels that we “have nothing to lose” by being open to a street encounter. In fact, she would attest that we can gain so much by truly listening to others who we might not have encountered except for our willingness to take a chance.

The author also describes “civil inattention.” Civil inattention is a desire to preserve our physical and social distance from others; how close we stand and where we choose to sit. The author points out that there are cultural differences in how we choose to interact or avoid interaction. This volume is a lovely gift book for those people we know who will invariably chit chat over the lettuce bin. Take a chance, talk it up with a stranger; you may make a friend.

Reviewed By:

Author Kio Stark
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 108 pages
Publisher Simon & Schuster/ TED
Publish Date 2016-09-13
ISBN 9781501119989
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue November 2016
Category Spirituality & Inspiration


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