Why I believe it’s still good to talk

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My friend gave a deep sigh and said: “Why do you do that Kate?”

“Do what?” I asked, confused by her remark, or should I say more confused than usual.

Let me set the scene.

December 27 and both of us were going a bit stir crazy cooped up with our nearest and dearest – not that we don’t love them dearly, but you can get too much of a good thing!

We decided to wrap up warm and venture out to get a some fresh air, as well as working up an appetite for the next meal on the horizon.

“What do I do?” I queried.

“You know,” she replied.

“No I don’t or I wouldn’t be asking!”

“I’ve told you about it before. I don’t like it,” was the response.

“Do what!”

By this time I was struggling to keep the festive feeling of goodwill to all men (and women), particularly my very infuriating friend.

“You speak to people,” she sighed.

“And your point is caller?”

Another sigh. “You know I don’t like it. You speak to people that you don’t even know.”

Now let’s stop right there. Before you have me down as some sort of mad woman who goes around attempting to accost total strangers into deep and meaningful conversations, I don’t.

All I do is say “hello”, “good morning” and occasionally, when the weather gives the opportunity, “lovely day”.

But it seems my friend takes exception to it.

Her very weak response to my query about what she didn’t like was that her mother told her not to speak to strangers!

Well, so did mine but she also told me it was important to be polite.

I reckon that’s what’s wrong with society today. Too many of us are insular, happy to stick with those we know and not to engage with others.

But what if the man that I regularly meet when I’m out walking doesn’t speak to another soul all day. Does that not make my “good morning” all the more important?

The days when we knew everyone in our community far less our street are long gone, which means it good if we can engage with others.

”I’m not going to invite them home for tea,” I told my friend. “I just want to be polite and let them know that there are other people out there.”

She sighed and didn’t say another word on the subject which I put done to a small victory on my part.

One thing is for sure, in the coming days I’ll be wishing everyone I meet all the best for 2017!

Happy New Year to you and yours - see you next year.