One Stranger Who Changed My Life


I was sitting in the airport one humid summer day when the course of my life was altered. I was about 10/11ish at the time, waiting for my flight home at O’Hare international airport in Chicago. I had just spent a month in the Midwest visiting family and was headed back to the east coast. My aunt wasn’t allowed to accompany me to the gate so I was alone.

I was people watching and taking in my surroundings when a stewardess approached me. She asked me if I was by myself, I told her I was, and she sat down to keep me company. She looked like she had just gotten off of or was headed to a flight(she had on her uniform with luggage in tow). We made small talk when she noticed I had a ying and yang pendant hanging around my neck.

She asked me if I knew what it meant. I told her I didn’t(I picked it up at the navy pier in Chicago because it looked cool) and she explained it to me. Her explanation was simplistic but it changed my life. Her explanation was,   “in a lot of good there is a little bit of bad and in a lot of bad there is a little bit of good.” That was a new concept to me at the time and it completely changed the way I viewed things.

Being brought up a christian I was taught things were either good or a sin. No in between, it was black and white. My interpretation of what she said led me to the conclusion that everything wasn’t black and white. If there is good in bad and bad in good, there had to be shades of grey and that’s what she opened my mind up to that day.

She had a huge impact in my life thinking back on it. If I had never met her I may not have been aware of or even interested in other forms of thought outside of the western world. My thoughts on morality and actions would have been completely different and the subsequent research that resulted from this idea later in life would have never happened. I would most likely be more close minded today.

Its funny how a complete stranger can alter the course of your life by sharing one piece of information in passing. I don’t know why but she was on my mind this week so I thought I’d share that story.

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