People are more interesting than television of telephone

Published 6:00 am Saturday, March 24, 2018

I am a people person. I enjoy meeting new people. It’s a good thing I do because I meet new people all the time. I’m amazed at all the ways two people can be connected.

Last week I met a lady out of town named Norma. I will remember her because I have only known a couple of Normas in my life. Norma Asher is my first cousin, so Norma will be imprinted on my mind. We had so many things in common, and in the end realized we had a mutual friend, Sandy. Sandy was my traveling buddy when I went on the same Celtic Tour where I met Karen from Rochester, New York.

This week Karen drove down to visit on her way to a conference. We met on a trip to Ireland about four years ago and our friendship has grown long distance ever since. She is a wise and godly woman, widow, mother of eleven who loves to laugh. It isn’t hard to imagine the stories she can tell.

Over the weekend I had gone to a restaurant out of state with a couple of friends and as we were standing in line, one of the ladies I went with and another lady started talking. They’d never met before in their lives, but they both knew a lady in common who lives in Harlan County.

People are far more interesting than television. Real people in real life situations are always more entertaining to me than a make-believe story on TV. Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone. What a lot we miss by not getting to know people and learning to listen to them.

I talk to people in the doctor’s office waiting room, in check out lines, in the auto shop waiting for an oil change, and just about anywhere else where people look like they need a kind word. There are very few people I ever meet who just have the attitude toward me to “drop dead” and leave me alone.

The lady I met this week at Cumberland Ford while getting my oil changed was a person that I could tell was ready to talk to someone while she waited. So, I put my book away that I had been reading and started talking. She was a Willis from across the mountain into Virginia. She told me a wonderful story about her and her husband crossing the mountain on four-wheelers. They ran into some little problems, including falling off a four-wheeler. She said she promised God that if He’d help them get out of there and safely back home, she’d never do that again. It dawned on her that if something should happen to her husband or to their ride, she had no clue how to get back off the mountain, or what direction to take. All ended well. Of course, it was a much better story with her telling it.

I’ve been collecting panther stories and have had some of the most amazing contacts with people as they share their stories about big cat sightings. People might think they don’t really have a story, but ask a few questions at the right time and a story will come rolling out.

I told someone recently that God has called me to be a story gatherer. I think maybe He has also called me to be a people gatherer.

I hate seeing people addicted to their cell phones. Some can’t get through a meal in a restaurant without touching their phone, looking for messages that aren’t there, or texting while they eat. The whole time, they are surrounded by real people who are being ignored. Groups of young people are especially sad to me. There will be several together in one spot, but all will be doing something on their phone instead of enjoying the people they are with.

People are naturally interesting. Trust me. They are way better than television or telephone.

Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Judith Victoria Hensley at judith99@bellsouth.net or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.