23 Wonderful Ice-Breakers

Just read this wonderful piece in What On Earth Have I Done? by Robert Fulghum – one of my all-time favorite authors…

I have a list in the active pocket of my mind. A list I often refer to when thrown into the company of strangers while traveling. The list is labeled Conversation Lifeboats:

  1. Did you ever have a great teacher – in school or out? Tell me.
  2. What would you be learning – if you had time?
  3. What would you have learned to do if you knew then what you know now?
  4. What would you teach, if you were asked?
  5. Teach me something. Anything.
  6. Do you know any silly tricks? Coins, cards, face contortions?
  7. If you could be an eyewitness to some event in history, which one?
  8. If you could see anyplace in the world before human history, where would you go and why?
  9. Who would you like to see naked?
  10. Who do you admire? Who admires you?
  11. Answer an unasked question – something you know but nobody would ever ask about and you would never volunteer.
  12. Decisions of consequence – what forks in the road were on your way – and what if you had taken the other path?
  13. Pick another place/time in modern history – since 1700 – to live.
  14. Book, movie, you’ve read/seen more than once. Why? Continue reading

Do You Trust Strangers?

0911 book coverI just re-read one my favorite books, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. It’s full of his real life stories and experiences that are fun to read and full of wisdom. Here’s one about trusting strangers:

“How about some good news for a change? Something to consider when you are in a people-are-no-damn-good mood? Here’s a phrase we hear a lot: “You can’t trust anybody anymore.” Doctors and politicians and salesmen. They are all out to rip you off, right? It ain’t necessarily so.

Man name Steven Brill test the theory. In New York City, with taxicab drivers. Bill posed as a well-do-do foreigner with little knowledge of English. He got into several dozen taxis around New York City to see how many drivers would cheat him. His friends predicted in advance that most would take advantage of him in some way.

One driver out of thirty-seven cheated him. The rest took him directly to his destination and charged him correctly. Several refused to take him when his destination was only a block or two away, even getting out of their cabs to show him how close he already was. There greatest irony of all was that several drivers warned him that New York City was full of crooks and to be careful. Continue reading