I would love to take credit for the prompt, but I saw it on Reddit. I loved it. It was such a cool idea. It really made me think about a lot of my own experiences. It’s a good thing to think about.
I was in a position one Christmas where I had to work and be far away from my family. It was a tough end of the year for me. I was working on what was commonly known as the detox unit and surprisingly, the unit was full. It was Christmas Eve and I had just come on shift. That evening I had to do a check-in group with all of the patients before they received their medications and went to bed. At that time, it wasn’t common for staff to do anything but ask them to report their mood, goal, etc.
I decided that I would have a message that night and that I would ask everyone to share their favorite Christmas memory. I distinctly remember one woman talking about her days as a flight attendant, which sounded quite glamorous. Most people just seemed happy to talk about happier times. The important thing was that we all bonded in a unique way that night. I think those people felt heard and less alone. That experience always struck me.
I know it wasn’t a single “stranger”, but it was my favorite story that related to the prompt. There were some other ones too, and I’m probably forgetting some of the best ones…but I’d love to see what others have to share if they are willing.