It’s so, so easy to stay in our comfort zones, isn’t it?
In many different areas of life. What we eat, who we talk to, the risks we take.
The other day when we were out walking, we passed by a woman sitting in her doorway, reading the paper. I was mesmerized by the scene. “Wow, wouldn’t that make such a cool picture?” I said to Shawn, as we walked on. “Go and ask if you can take her picture.” He said nonchalantly, pushing me to talk to someone I didn’t know, and to be brave enough to ask permission to do something I wouldn’t normally do.
“I think I will.” I said, turning back around, and approaching the elderly woman sitting in her doorway. I was a bit shy simply because I hate to be “that tourist” who thinks it’s cool to take pictures of people who are really just living their lives and probably don’t want to be bothered by strange white people and their cameras.
As I came closer to her house, I smiled, and in my best, most polite French, I greeted her, and explained that I thought she was beautiful, sitting there, reading her paper in the shadow of the doorway. I asked if I could take her picture.
She smiled a sweet, kind smile and replied, “Because you came over here and asked so politely, you most certainly can take my picture.”
I was so excited that she was willing! I told her to just continue reading the paper, and I snapped a few pictures of her.
I told her that I live in Senegal, and that I like to take a variety of pictures to show my family and friends back home what life is like in Senegal. She thought that was a wonderful idea, told me to have a good day, and I met back up with Shawn who was around the corner waiting for me.
It was just a simple reminder to me that sometimes we have to make a move. We have to step outside of our comfort zone. We have to talk to that person, ask them what their name is, what their story is, where they’re from.
Who knows what kind of friendship that could lead to? Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and be the brave one, the outgoing one, the first to introduce ourselves, or even share our beliefs with someone who may intimidate us!
Because of Shawn’s little comment to just “go and ask”, I was able to take some really neat pictures of a sweet elderly woman that I would have never met otherwise.
Do it. Step outside of your comfort zone. Who knows what will come of it…