An Invisible Thread

invisible thread

“The true story of an 11-year-old panhandler, a busy sales executive, and an unlikely meeting with destiny”

Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

This book could have been SUPER cheesy. But while I do have a soft spot for that type of story now and then, this story was actually riveting. A few weeks back while in DC I wrote a post about the internal struggle I feel every time I walk by a homeless person. So this is a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately.

Ultimately, in the author’s words, this is simply a story of “two people with complicated pasts and fragile dreams” . In one exchange, a split second decision changed both their lives forever.

Throughout the book Laura returns to the idea of an “invisible thread” that draws people together. Its an interesting concept. Reading this book challenged me to think about the ways in which this thread weaves through my life. One of the most impactful relationships in my life started at a dark crowded house party. A boy yet unknown to me approached me and introduced himself. We chatted aimlessly for the evening, and by some invisible thread continued to be drawn together. Another tremendously impactful person in my life I met entirely by accident at about 1am stressing out over a freshman biochemistry exam. This person became my mentor, friend, and one of my biggest supporters.

The chance circumstances that led me to these people could definitely be attributed to this invisible thread.

When was the last time you had a conversation with a stranger?

I know, I know, stranger danger. But maybe this is something we should be doing more often.

It makes me I wonder if the rise of mobile technology has made stories like the one Laura tells even more unlikely. When Laura and Maurice met over 20 years ago we did not have cell phones, ipods, and earbuds. I am certain that this didn’t prevent people from ignoring each other, but it was one less barrier between people. Now its so easy to pop in some music and truly ignore the world around you. We ignore people we already have connections with at times, it doesn’t bode well for those we don’t know.

One of the best qualities about my Mom is that she has the ability to have a conversation with anyone. And I truly, literally, mean anyone. The lady in the dressing room at Kohl’s, the man at the oil change place, the teenager next to her on an airplane. No matter where she goes she has this instinct to reach out to people and make a connection.

We often make fun of her for it, teasing she could make friends with a goldfish. But in reality its her gift, this innate ability to make connections with people.

Reading An Invisible Thread highlighted the strength of this gift. Taking the extra minute, of five, or fifteen, to connect with someone can change your life, and theirs.

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