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Hello

January 8, 2018

Having an amazing chat can open doors in your mind but every so often you'll have a conversation that you truly believe could actually put the world to rights. A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my wife and It blew my mind and I'd like to tell you about it.

 

I'm just a humble youth worker and sports coach that likes to get into coversations with his missus, but this one was a few days after the funeral of a young person I worked with who was the victim of knife crime.

Talking about the urban youth situation at the moment often seems futile but that's how the conversation started then, as usual, it meandered until we somehow got on the topic of dinner parties and who we'd invite as guests at our dream event.

 

I'm a huge sport and movies fan so most of my guests would be icons from the ages in those genres. I imagined Pele sitting between me and Muhammad Ali because they'd both definitely be there, plus he'd be a buffer because if Ali was sitting right next to me I probably wouldn't speak to anyone else all night.

 

Tony Scott would be to my right and Jennifer Lawrence would sit opposite, but nowhere near my wife, who'd be busy anyway controlling her late father's animation towards Ferenc Puskas. Nigella and Halle Berry are cooking and Jimi's doing the music, it's a great, great dream party.

The next day I wondered how urban young people of today would cope if they met or their own heroes as positive interaction is a major stumbling block to todays young. They have very little idea how to remove a social deprivation tag that's very apt in this context and its a shame, but speaking with your idol would be easy, right?

 

And then it came to me. I should try to start a conversation that will make the whole world feel better. My 19 month old has just learned to say hello and now she'll greet anyone, so recently, I've been doing the same. If I make eye contact I smile and, if they smile back, I say hello. It's liberating and it doesn't feel as weird as you'd think.

 

Yesterday, en route to Gatwick, there was standing room only on the train but by the time we'd got to the airport we'd had the best 20 minute train conversation ever with a couple of random strangers which started with a smile and hello.

 

I'm not really one for resolutions but I'm feeling like I might just have a go in 2018. More exercise, embrace new opportunities, meet family and friends more, yada, yada, blah.

 

Most of these will fall by the wayside eventually but I really hope my conversation movement will keep going and others follow suit and share the good feeling. Maybe it'll kick start a revolution that will help inspire the young people I work with every day to talk to everone like they'd talk to their heroes, now wouldn't that be great? Maybe they'll become my heroes too and I'll need to get a bigger table.

 

 

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