Q+A: A Stranger’s World

Unfamiliar faces constantly appear in our world for moments at a time each day. As we see these unknown individuals, we automatically tend to stereotype and make assumptions about them, and this can eliminate the possibility of learning from all of the strangers we encounter. I decided to interview strangers about topics that concerned our political, philosophical and personal world.

Question 1: What are your thoughts on homelessness/the homeless?

Stranger One: Homelessness is a really big issue in the Bay Area, but also in our country in general.

Stranger Two: I wish there was more I could do about it. Its really up to our government to change the way things are.

Stranger Three: I think the only way we could ever solve this issue would be to completely reform our social system, and that would take a lot of time and work most people aren’t willing to do.

Question 2: What group of people/type of person are you most likely to assume things about?

Stranger One: I could assume things about every group of people, I could look at anyone and make assumptions. But I guess I assume a lot about adults. I think most of them are unhappy and stressed.

Stranger Two: Preppy girls, white girls–abercrombie and fitch, piedmont type of girls.Which is weird because I’m white. I just assume they’re rich and don’t like me.

Stranger Three: People who wear “ratchet” clothes.  I assume they’re loud and obnoxious. Adults too.

Question 3: What do you think happens after death? Are you afraid of dying?

Stranger One: I’m not afraid to die. I’m not excited, but when I do die, I won’t be upset. I’ll just be like “oh, a new adventure!” I think that’s the fun about it, it’s a mystery.

Stranger Two: I have no idea what happens after we die. I just don’t like the idea of getting old.

Stranger Three: I don’t like thinking about how I’d die…I don’t want to get murdered.

Question 4:  Do you think there is a purpose to living? if so, what is it?

Stranger One: I think the purpose to living is to die–that’s the only thing you know will happen.

Stranger Two: To work, consume, die.

Stranger Three: I really don’t think there is a purpose. Well, maybe the purpose is to just live.

Question 5: Did you grow up to be very similar to your parents/guardians or very different?

Stranger One: Oh god, extremely different…gladly. I mean I love my parents, but the way they live and think didn’t quite…fit me.

Stranger Two: Similar is some ways, different in others. I think I have a good balance.

Stranger Three: Over the years, I’ve come to realize how similar I am to my mom. The way I act, my emotions. I didn’t think I would end up like my parents, but no one does.

Question 6: What’s one thought/memory you’d like to erase from your mind?

Stranger One: Something about perfectionism, trying to look and behave a certain way

Stranger Two:  I’d like to erase the thought that I’m stupid from my mind.

Stranger Three: I’d want to erase all the negative thoughts I’ve had about myself over the last 2 years.

Question 7: What characteristic do you feel the need to hide from others?

Stranger One: I don’t know, I don’t really hide from others–maybe sensitivity though.

Stranger Two: Being goofy and comedic. Making puns…some people are just like “Wtf, you’re so weird.”

Stranger Three: Sensitivity.

Our world is full of unknown people, and behind each of them is a perspective that you may never know unless you communicate with them. Although these “strangers” were hesitant at first, not wanting to be completely honest with a girl whom they knew nothing about, after I got their attention by asking them about things people don’t usually talk about. The answers that they provided revealed the humanity all of us struggle with everyday. Interviewing these strangers helped me learn that we all have difficulties to overcome, and for the most part, no matter how different people appear to be, we all experience life’s elements in a fairly similar way. Even though we are taught not to talk to them, you might find that you can relate to strangers on many different levels, and that’s a great reason to reach outside of your world of familiarity.

Reinform The Norm

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