We are all advised as children to beware of strangers. Our parents have always told us to keep a safe distance from people whom we do not know. While that may seem like golden advice, I don’t think there is any advice that has affected relationships between individuals as much as that statement has done.
The advice that you should beware of strangers is something universal. Every individual at some point has received it. It doesn’t matter which part of the world you belong to. We all have been told to beware of strangers at some point in our lives. One of the greatest misfortunes that have happened is that intimacy has not become possible because of this strange advice. Intimacy is the key ingredient to all relationships in life.
Whether it is the relationship between lovers, friends, parents and kids, husbands and wives, does not matter. If intimacy does not exist, then all relationships are bound to lose flavour at some point.
Everybody is a Stranger:
One of the most basic understanding is that we are all strangers. Whether you personally know someone or not, that doesn’t matter. The only difference is that there are known strangers and unknown strangers. A random person walking on a street is an unknown stranger.
Your parents, friends, lovers are all known strangers, but what difference does it make. Whether known or unknown, ultimately, we are all strangers to each other. In fact, we do not know ourselves either.
This understanding that everybody is a stranger brings a sense of meaninglessness to one’s life. One feels as though one is alone on this earth. Forget everybody else, one feels as though one does not have his own self. What is the point of living on this earth where we are all strangers to each other?
A Blessing in Disguise:
The fact that we are all strangers may seem like a curse, but it really isn’t. The realisation that we are all strangers for the first time will give you a feeling of fearlessness.
All this while, the reason why you were unable to relate to people is because you created a division between the people who were known to you and the stranger. When this division disappears, then, for the first time, there is a possibility of relating with each individual that you come across because there is nothing to lose.
Open yourself up to a stranger:
When a person has nothing to lose, only then he can open up with another person. Right now, you feel as though you have too much to lose, but you really don’t.
We come into this world empty-handed and yet, for some strange reason we all feel like we’re loaded.
Yes, certainly, we are all loaded, but not with any kind of wealth, but simply junk. If you are willing to keep your junk at the cost of losing an opportunity to be intimate with a human being, then perhaps, you must be the world’s greatest coward.
Therefore, one should always be open and receptive to existence and everything that it has to offer. When you walk on the street, smile at people, and do everything you can to initiate conversation. I have seen people walk the streets like zombies. People seem almost dead, lifeless, and roaming around as though the entire world’s load is upon their shoulders.
We need to create a world full of joyful, fun loving and playful people – only then life will become meaningful.
Always be The First one to take the Initiative:
When it comes to being intimate with a stranger, always be the first one to take initiative. Don’t wait for the other person to open up. Always be the first one to open up to the other person – this will give the other person the courage to be open.
If you are open to another individual right from the beginning, then there is a higher chance of you having a lifelong relationship with the person. When I say lifelong, I am not only referring to the length of time that your friendship will last, but also the quality of it. Any relationship when initiated in openess is lifelong in the sense that even if it ends someday, there will be no felling of bitterness towards the other person. Neither will the other person feel bitter towards you. The separation will be out of mutual understanding and love for each other. By lifelong, all I mean is that it would be impossible for you to create an enemy out of the other person. Enmity brings life to a standstill. Two persons who are enemies are almost dead. It is
Therefore, from a certain persective, the relaionship becomes lifelong because although the friends depart, the friendship and love still remains and even if these two people meet after decades, they will be able to continue their friendship from where they left. In fact, often, the separation brings a completely new freshness to the friendship.
Showing your True Colours:
The reason we create enemies is because people start to show their true colours after a certain time has passed. After a few months or years, you feel as though the person is no longer the same from the time you met them – this is what creates enmity.
When you are true to a person right from the beginning, totally open, honest, not trying to hide anything, then the chances of losing the other person is very rare. In fact, it would be impossible for the other person to let go of you, simply because in this world full of fake people, it is rare to find a person who is as open as you are.
In this world where everybody is trying to hold on to things, you are among those rare individual’s that has nothing to lose. Only such a person, who has nothing to lose can create lifelong friendships. Yes, others may consider him to be an enemy, but from his side, there will be no enmity.
Friendships have no Goodbyes:
The first relationship that arises out of intimacy is friendship. Friendship is in fact, a necessary relationship for every other relationship to be possible. If friendship does not exist, then love is impossible.
Love always has a beginning and an end. Lover’s are bound to say goodbye someday because their love is based on certain ulterior motives. A woman may fall in love with a man because she may have the desire for sex, financial security, or perhaps she may have the desire to raise a child.
A man may fall in love with a woman because she is beautiful, or because he may just need someone’s shoulder to cry on. It does not matter how superficial or profound your desire is, a desire is a desire.
Friendship is free from all desire and therefore if a relationship is based on friendship, there is every possibility that the relationship will never end. A relationship based on friendship is timeless. It has a beginning but no end.
From the place I stand, friendships have always been significant. But always remember that the friendship can only have significance if it is based on intimacy. If you do not have the quality to be intimate, open and honest, then even friendship is not possible. Then even friendship is nothing more than a meaningless “hi” or “hello” just for the sake of formality.
What are your views on intimacy, and how has it changed your relationships with people? Do share your views in the comments down below, or shoot me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you want me to write an article on a specific issue that you’re going through in life, do let me know via email, and I’ll be glad to share my insights with you.