I passed a stranger, in an ‘interesting’ part of town. His clothes were old and unkempt, his face drawn and tired. I suppose he looked rough and shady. He noticed me and averted his gaze and his steps to avoid me. To make assumptions, I think he was used to being avoided.
I smiled, a smile that reaches the eyes. The kind of acknowledgement you give a fellow dog walker or fellow parent; strangers sharing a moment. He looked so shocked, I think it must have been some time he was given a greeting. He smile back and said hello.
It was a fleeting moment between strangers, I didn’t do much and neither did he, but that smile and nod of agreement seemed to mean so much. I have carried that moment with me for days.
It’s the connection that’s important, it’s why the relationship is so important in counselling. It why giving your time means more than giving your money and why a moment of shared silence can change everything.