Whenever I meet a stranger, I usually introduce myself with my name , “Hi, I am Shilpa. Nice to meet you here…… “
On the contrary, I am always pleasantly surprised at how Toyna meets strangers her age. She never starts the conversation with telling her name or asking their name. The conversation is always straight to the point, “Do you want to play with me? I like to play badminton. Do you?……”
Many a times, she comes back to me after spending significant time playing with a friend, not even knowing his/her name. This is how conversation goes thereafter:
Me: Who is she?
Toyna: A friend
Me: But what’s her name?
Toyna (with a shrug of her shoulders, indicating it couldn’t care less to her): I don’t know.
A number of simple questions later, I realise she doesn’t have any information about the friend, except for what both of them like to play together.
Coming to think of it, how does it matter if we know the name of the person or not. What is more important is whether we understand the person for who the person is. Usually we start the conversation with names, places of origin, profession, etc. to help us put people in buckets in our minds. Oh, his name is David, so he must be a Christian. He is a Software engineer, so he would have no work life balance, and so on. These buckets help us in quickly forming opinions about people without even trying to understand them.
Children on the other hand, are oblivious to buckets. For them, there are just two categories, “to play with” or “not to play with”. Anything else, just does not matter. If only, we too, could keep life so simple, maybe we could discover the innocence and beauty of life that surrounds us.