One of the things I love about Alternative Grounds (the café where I spend most mornings), is the egalitarian, democratic attitude of the patrons.
I just enjoyed a discussion with one of the city’s maintenance workers about Iceland and how its citizens responded to the economic meltdown of 2008.* In this, my home away from home, people are taken as they come, not judged by their ‘category’ in the world. Dave, in his orange ‘safety’ overalls with the florescent cross on the back, is treated with respect and interest by the sharp-suited lawyer who also comes in every morning.
A smart, well-read person is just that, whatever his official function in life, whatever adjectives might apply to him. We do ourselves and the world a disservice by failing to appreciate this.
Sometimes our most signicant personal growth, our greatest enrichment, comes from the least anticipated experience, the most unexpected connections.