Monday, 27 May 2013
A man walks into a bar.
A man walks into a bar.
The other night I happened to be walking out of Lincoln on the Wragby road, and found myself drawn into the Adam and Eve public house. The pub was busy, quite a number of people out celebrating the bank holiday weekend no doubt. I got myself a drink and found a tidy little corner where I could sit and hopefully write, as I have a desire to write another song about the great and varied experiences I am currently having with regularity. To my great joy, the group of people directly next to this seating were very open and spontaneously asked me if I would like to join them in their bid to win the pub quiz challenge. I was very happy to engage with such warmth of course, but didn't want to intrude into their conversation and yet the offer was too good to refuse.
They were a group of friends whom had met up for a reunion and just randomly happened, like myself to be in this particular pub. Their kindness and affection was evident so I soon felt at ease with being included in the answering of the questions. My knowledge however is not as sharp as it has been, and I only modestly contributed to a few answers. Current affairs is not something I am to up to date on as I don't watch television very often if at all. The conversation soon opened up with one of the guys and I began to explain about how I came to be in Lincoln and the reason for my social experiment and interaction with people. He seemed fascinated and genuinely curious as to what I had learned or experienced over the past year or so.
After a while when the quiz had ended, they were readying for the move to a further venue, and very generously invited me to join them. I was flattered and touched by this show of thoughtfulness towards a stranger, so I accepted the offer and we moved onto a new place close by.
The group of friends was made up of three married couples. The wives were all from the same European country, and all had migrated here because of love of their respective gentlemanly husbands. It was lovely to see such happiness and considerate care between them all. I concluded that they were all well educated and following careers they had potentially chosen. They were flowing with kindness and they were being very spontaneous and cordial towards this stranger, me. I was offered a drink at the next pub and I gratefully accepted.
Now I try not to look to being the centre of attention in any group but as happens when strangers meet, names get mentioned at some point. My choice of name is obviously a curiosity to many people and I happily explained in brief detail about it. One of the women had read Dan Millmans book, (Way of the Peaceful Warrior) so potentially understood something more of the concept of being a Warrior who attempts to be peaceful and peaceable towards others. Many questions came as if it were another quiz, one that I have all the answers to however....
I hope that I was able to give clear and concise answers to the range of inquiry raised. Understandably I was also curious about the group who had generously invited me to join their conversations, and I learnt much. Not possibly as much as I would have wished from such a short event, but never the less I gleaned a lot of importance from this seemingly random encounter. I had myself visited the country from which they originated, and we were able to share one or two tales of observation about my trip there some few years ago. They all smiled broadly now, but explained why that may not have been normal behaviour in their country and culture. I guess I hadn't really understood before but what they revealed made great sense.
The husbands likewise had a few of their own stories to tell about the diversity of the experiences they had had when visiting and in associations with in-laws. Soon time had elapsed and everyone was thinking about drinking up and setting off home. The conversation was interesting as it always is to me, yet it soon became apparent that we often frequent the same coffee house in town, and were likely to bump into each other again over the coming weeks. Which is lovely as I now have the potential for another six coffee and conversation partners. One of the gentlemen who was the designated driver offered me a lift back to the Y.M.C.A, and I happily accepted.
I have chosen to keep the details of the people mentioned here to myself, as what I hope to come of this story is solely to show that great and gracious people are common amongst the people whom reside here in Lincoln. I am forever indebted to these people for such openness and kindness in inviting a stranger into their midst. I didn't feel any resentment towards me because of my current situation, which is lovely to see and receive. Being jobless and effectively homeless is not something that normally provokes deep conversations amongst random strangers, but these people were clearly above the quick judgement making of some elements of society. I was humbled by their generosity of spirit and accepting of what they received from our encounter.
I send my thankfulness out to them and hope that they know my gratitude is real. Much the same attitudes as I have experienced over the past few months from many people and organisations in Lincoln. Many mentioned in the previous article (R+evolution Lincoln) and now this new group are reassuring me that hope is not lost in society completely. Positive interactions with other human beings is something we can all benefit from, but it is clear that each one of us needs to be able to contribute something into this pot of interactivity. You mostly get out what you put in. Like breeds like, so if you breed negativity the evident reaction is likely to be more negativity towards you in return. This is one of the most simple realities I have encountered in all of my travels and investigations about interactions.
So my happiness is extended by the continued kindness of Lincoln life, sharing, collaborating and respectfulness.
So, a man walks into a bar as a stranger and leaves as a potential friend. Now that's magic.....
May love light and peace guard you all.