Many parents teach their kids never to speak to strangers. That strangers are dangerous. That there are many people that can hurt you. Even that most men want to assault women. These parents may teach this due to fears created by their past experiences or from a skewed worldview fostered by the sensationalization of negative news. Regardless of our parents intentions, we begin to learn the truth about the world when we become independent. As we grow older and begin our careers, we realize that not all strangers are threats. That there are more good people than bad people. That most strangers are surprisingly kind and generous. That maybe our parents were wrong.
In my experiences moving to a new city, I have been overwhelmed with love and generosity from the community. When I tell people I had just recently moved to the Bay Area, they light up and are excited to tell me their favorite things about it. People willingly give me advice about how to navigate in the city, my job search, and the marketing field. I have encountered and reached out to countless strangers, only to realize that they can be a crucial resource in your time of need.
Though it is essential to continue to be cautious and aware of your surroundings, there are great advantages in being open to new people from all walks of life.
Strike a conversation with the person sitting next to you in the coffee shop, grocery store, or a local event. You might be surprised as to where it will lead you.