An Inspiring Conversation With A Stranger

I never usually blog about this sort of stuff – usually it’s a few short tweets with an explanatory and detailed Facebook posts but I reckon it’s about time to talk more at length about how the interactions I have with people around me move me.

So, getting a new boiler fitted meant that there’s been an electrician at my house yesterday and this morning to finish the job. We got chatting as you do and it turned out that this isn’t what he initially had planned to do. He went to university when he was younger and had completed 3 out of 4 years of an undergrad degree in English with the view of going into primary school teaching afterwards. We talked at length about the education system and how it’s really not how it should be. We agreed that it should galvanised children and actually educate them rather than simply improving their memories for schools to be able to pit themselves against each other in league tables – where it becomes more about the league tables than actually the quality of the teaching itself.

He spoke with such passion that it prompted me to suggest that he should go back to university and ultimately become a qualified teacher. He said that he dropped out of university of because of financial restraints with the view of finishing off his course but then life got in the way in terms of meeting is wife and having a family and so his priorities changed. I told him that if this situation was the other way around and he was talking to his daughter he would be saying the same things I was to him – he agreed. I went on to tell him that I encourage my mum to do a nursing or a managerial course all the time. She’s been at her job 20+ years and she could literally do it in her sleep and the patients absolutely adore her – she’d be perfect as the manager of the practice or even as a nurse as she really knows her stuff despite not having any qualifications in either area. I found it really warming that he replied by saying that perhaps he and my mum really ought to get our act together and get on with it!

So after many cups of tea and our conversations he finally finished the job he came to do and to be honest I was a little gutted. He seemed like a really genuine person and I was enjoying our conversations of putting the education system to right and talking about careers, dreams and well, life. What struck me the most was when he thanked me for the tea and our conversation. I mean, he could have just thanked me for the tea and left it as that but clearly our conversation must have made an impact for him to take the time to thank me. In response, I told him that I expect to hear about him being a teacher soon. It was a somewhat tongue-in-cheek response but I genuinely meant it. I really hope he considers going back to university and embarks of making into reality his lifelong dream.

I felt I wanted to write about this brief encounter because it’s really important for us to appreciate how important interaction is with people around us and understanding just how much of an impact we can make by listening and offering advice even to complete strangers. I have said for a long time that some of the best conversations I’ve had have been with strangers and this is one of many examples. We have so much to learn from one another but it’s more than that, it’s about being inspired and motivated and also the ‘happy heart’ feeling you get from an internal smile.

To the electrician whom I never even asked his name (silly me), I hope you embark on realising your dreams. You are a lovely person and the teaching profession really needs engaging, inspiring and committed people like yourself. Also, thank you for the conversation as it reminded me to pursue my dreams no matter what the obstacles or where life’s journey may take me.

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