21 May 2014

Pastor on a plane

So. The other day, I met a Pastor on a plane.

Not on a plane, in a plane.  But that's not what you say is it?  You say on. Right?

Anyway, the Pastor.  He was there, sitting next to us.  Heading home after a week or so in Bali.  But not on holidays, he works with a mob or supports a mob of people that help Australian prisoners in Indonesian prisons set up micro-businesses to help them fund their incarceration.

I didn't even know that was a thing that people had to do.  But to be honest, most of what I know about Indonesian prisons I've learnt from articles about Schappelle Corby and they aren't exactly known for being big on fact.

The micro-businesses can be art, knitted goods, screen printing, computer skills - anything basically that provides a small but steady income.  And there are more Australians and non-Indonesian prisoners in these places than Schappelle and the Bali Nine which of course you know but you don't really think about.

So boom! Twenty minutes into the flight - I'd learnt something.

We then went on to chat about children, christianity, people, knees, naming children, running ultra half marathons, blogging, social media, volunteering, personal branding for young people and all those kind of random conversations you have when you're making small talk with somebody that actually thinks about things.

And it was a very enjoyable 90 minute flight.  At the end, we went off to get our hire car and he went and found his group of people and headed home to his family to join in the Saturday sports mania which is fairly representative of families with children the age of his.

And the Pastor on the plane.  It really struck me as I was chatting with friends in the pub the next day after the run, he is any stranger we fail to engage with given the opportunity and I live in constant amazement that people don't want to make these kinds of connections.  I know something now I didn't know, I didn't know.  I met somebody who was interesting, passionate about what he did and had a decent handshake.

Next week, it might be a clown in an elevator (true story), an old lady next to you on the bus (true story), somebody in the queue at the supermarket (true story).  And no, we don't need to talk to everybody (apparently - go figure), but how often do we avoid eye contact and shut ourselves off from amazing experiences just because we're afraid of what people might think?

I'm right aren't I?  We do.  WE DO.  We're so dumb.  So self-limiting! And I say this knowing that I have a face that attracts weirdoes.  If there is a weirdo within 100 kilometres of where I am sitting - they flock to me but YET, sometimes I get the Pastor on the plane.

And it reminds me of why people and conversations are such enriching additions to the everyday.  And also why you shouldn't try and smuggle drugs to Indonesia.


Go forth and chitter chatter.  Go on.  Dare you.

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