Communication skills in humans

Yesterday I learnt a life lesson for myself which I would like to share with others. Something simple involving, human language, communication and the human spirit. I was travelling long distance from South Wales to Cumbria and for a short while I had my own space on the train; a nice table seat for two. In a very British (or is it English?) way I had piled my bags on the seat next to me to fend off any invasion of “my” space. As it came into Newport station I tucked myself into a book and kept my head down.
“Oy – move that bag!” A gruff voice moved me back to reality, it was the train guard, who glowered at me as he helped a blind person into the seat next to me. I shuffled into my reduced space and the train moved out of the station. After a few minutes I put my book down and I studied the man. He was Asian, in his late twenties, just staring into the blankness in front of his useless eyes. I was not sure what to do, I mean for heaven’s sake, our hips were almost touching and I felt tongue tied and uncomfortable.
Anyway I cannot for the life of me remember how I started the conversation, but what followed was one of the most rewarding 30 minute conversations of my life. Salman had been a sound engineer and lost his eyesight only in the last two year,s and was now regularly travelling from London to Hereford where he was learning to read Braille – as he intended to redirect his life and wished to study law. His positive attitude towards this disastrous affliction at such a young age was awe inspiring, his sense of humour was infectious; we were laughing constantly, particularly when he told me that a girlfriend told him not to worry about his sex life now he was blind, it might even improve, she had said. ”And it has,” Salman giggled,” I just don’t know who I’m having sex with!”
I made a friend for life that day, for some reason he felt grateful that I had not ignored him, when it was I who had been rewarded by the experience. So I recommend talking to people every chance you get – people are so interesting, everyone is unique, everyone has a story worth sharing – just give them the opportunity to enrich your life.IMG_0514

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