What type of person are you?

Though we may not realize we are doing so, there are literally thousands of ways we categorize people in our heads. There are those who are lactose intolerant, and those who aren't, those who enjoy classical music, and those who hate it, those who do wear spandex, and those who those who avoid it like the plague. What's more, we can also combine two or more categories to create endless "subcategories" like: those who enjoy classical music and do wear spandex, those who enjoy classical music but avoid spandex, those who don't enjoy classical music but do wear spandex, and finally, those who don't enjoy classical music and also, avoid spandex. You get the idea. As a result, there are so many so many possibilities, there may be some we never consider until we run into someone who makes us think, "Ah, they're that type of person."

For example, though it never occurred to me before, there are some people who will approach an acquaintance at the grocery store, even if that person hasn't noticed them, while others will simply go about their business pretending they never noticed. Which type of person are you?

I realize there are a lot of factors that might influence one responses to such situations, including how well they know the person, whether they like them, or feel liked by them, whether they're in a hurry, in a good mood, or what have you. At the same time, however, I suspect all of us have default. All of us have a way we prefer such potential meetings to go.

For me, my default is going about my business and pretending I didn't notice the person. Most certainly, I will engage a person, regardless of how well I know them, if eye contact is made. However, short of that, if I see a person at the grocery store that I don't know very well and they haven't noticed me, I'll simply go about business, and let them go about theirs.

While there's certainly nothing wrong with that approach, personally, I wish that I was different. It's not that I feel the need to make everyone my best friend. Its just that I've come to believe there is a benefit to not treating those we know like strangers, even if we don't know they well. Speaking as one who was recently approached by an acquaintance I hadn't spoken with in over five years, I must admit, it was kind of nice to be remembered. It was encouraging to know that despite the time that had gone by, I wasn't totally forgotten; and I suspect others might feel the same. 

Maybe that's the reason we cross paths with such people. Perhaps God intends us to be an encouragement to one another, simply by saying, "Hey, I remember you!" It takes such little effort, I can't really figure out why I wasn't doing that in the first place.