Receiving the gift of knowledge from a stranger

Isn’t it nice when strangers open up and share a secret or historical tale completely free, no expectations of getting anything back? Doesn’t it inspire you to give them your devoted attention while they are telling these stories?

I was visiting the historically charged Lincoln Cathedral and two 80 and 90 something localites each enriched our visit by sharing freely and selflessly some very specific details about the place and the people who influenced what it is now.

How endearing it was to hear about Dean Honeywood ‘s library by Christopher Wren, his grandmother who lived to see her 367 descendent (16 children, x grand children, y great grand children and 4 great great grand kids – she probably knew all their birthdays as well!), the tiles carved over the years by the kneeling pilgrim’s feet and the eternity symbol of the dragon biting its tail secretly engraved as a gift by the artist who worked on one of the wall panels.

The passion in their eyes and the respect for that knowledge was absorbing me so much that I was hanging onto their every word. And as I walked away I couldn’t help but smile, with my teeth showing and the youthful look in their eyes now in mine. I felt so touched by the fact that they selflessly transmitted that knowledge to us, complete strangers. And to be on the receiving end of such a kind and enriching gift felt like a marvellous privilege.

It does take a bit of opening up for the recipient to a/ pay attention to what the person is sharing and b/ appreciate the value of the present they’re offering.

Now to you, when was the last time you took de time to receive a marvellous gift from a stranger?

Lincoln Cathedral


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