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When You Chat up Sidewalk Strangers
Apparently, you missed the memo that went out to the entire modern world. While in the elevator or on the sidewalk or in the movie theater or in the chair in the waiting room of you dentist, instead of madly checking your messages on your smartphone or staring into space while dreaming of an future life in Hawaii, you saw the novel tucked under the arm of the stranger beside you and said, "Hey, I read that book about sharks too." She looked at you for a minute, confused, wary. Finally, however, she surrendered to the atypical, slightly uncomfortable situation you had initiated—and responded with her opinions on great whites and sushi. What resulted: a conversation about everything from deep-sea pollution to Chinese politics. The two of you will probably never see each other again. There really was no rational need for the exchange, save for the fact that two humans in close proximity can—if they're willing to take a risk on humanity—share more than physical space.