Random People

I’m sitting on the plane headed to another motivational speaker gig, watching a group of kids find their seats. Based on my keen sense of observation (ie nosy-ness) in the terminal,  I was able to ascertain that they are part of a church group headed out on a mission trip to Costa Rica. I’m sitting there reading (ie people watching without being obvious about it) when I hear one of the teenagers say:

I sure hope I don’t have to sit by any random people.

This struck me as funny.  She’s about to go on a mission trip in a strange country, where every day will include meeting new people who don’t speak her language – and she’s hoping she doesn’t have to sit by any “random” people. Maybe you don’t see the irony. But I wanted to share anyway.

Why are we so afraid of random people? Why do we get on a plane and pray that nobody talks to us? Why do we avoid making contact in an elevator because we think we might have to have a real conversation with someone? Why is it so foreign to some people to actually smile at the maid who is cleaning your hotel room and ask if she likes your new shoes? Why did the guy in Maine look at me like I had grown an extra head when I helped him with his luggage?

Sorry to go all “God” on you, but He created us for relationships. He made us to be companions. When He said “love others” He meant others. Even the random people. I love random people. Sometimes more than the ones I know. They make up the fabric of my life. They provide those delicious unexpected encounters that make me see the world a little differently.

So next time I am tempted (because I am guilty too) of shying away from that “random person” – I’m going to stop, look, and listen. Because, who knows, maybe that person was put in my path for an important reason. And I don’t want to miss it.

Love, your wacky motivational speaker who apologizes if she ever walked past you without seeing you.


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. Sooooooooo true, Kelly.  I have been guilty of this in my life – of trying to avoid the random people.  And I find that when I actually make an effort to lend an ear or extend a kind word or action, it almost always ends up benefiting ME!  I get to feel good that maybe someone’s day just got a little brighter because I asked them how their day was going.  Thanks for the VERY important reminder.  

  2. Kelly, the teenager’s comment made me chuckle. The good news is following her trip she will most likely have a more open heart. Sure hope so anyway. Beautiful thoughts….here’s to random!

  3. I LOVE Random people!  I’m a random people too!  Kelly I just love the way you see things and articulate them so well.  Let’s all go random together!

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