Being a memory collector was a fantastic experience because it allowed me further my understanding of human nature.

I traveled around to different areas and met a lot of different people. I met people who saw ghosts, traveled around the world, watched as their girlfriend got attacked by monkeys, had their first kiss in a synagogue bathroom, and people who had been reborn. Each and every person was different from each other, but no matter what by the end of their stories I felt connected to them and that was beautiful. Amongst all the beauty of connectivity though, one moment of connectivity will always stand out to me.

Usually what we are supposed to do in our time is talk until some kind of memory/story comes up, but Mary and I just talked. I couldn’t tell you what we talked about specifically. I actually got so caught up in the conversation that I nearly forgot to write the memory.  It was strange because I never realized how powerful just listening to someone could actually be. After all I tend to be a loud person, so I take people listening to me for granted. (But I digress.)

After that moment with Mary, I decided to really try and really pay attention to the people that I was with. Since it made her so grateful, I figured that other people would also be grateful. What I didn’t realize was that this was my first step towards being more mindful in my normal everyday life. It started with just listening to people, and then it turned into paying more attention to things like their facial expressions as they speak and really paying attention to people’s tones as they talk.

The results of this are actually indescribable, so you (the reader) should go out and try this. I encourage go out and go talk to a stranger and go really listen to a story of theirs.

[Note: the participant’s name in this story has been changed.]

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