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  • Gary Borland

#19 Incredible People – They’re all Around You


You are incredible and there are incredible people all around you. What difference could more conversations with strangers make?


The Falls of Shin is a very popular visitor attraction for watching salmon leap the falls. Less well know are the Achness Falls shown in the photo, only 7 miles away in a straight line. With relatively few visitors compared to its well-known neighbour, many miss out on these arguably more beautiful falls. We loved visiting both but were struck by how easy it can be to focus on the better advertised spots and miss out on the incredible beauty that may be close by.


This seems to have so many parallels with life, relationships and where our attention is focused, or what it’s drawn to. Are you attracted to people because of their position, their status, fame or some other reason? Who do you seek out, stop to gaze at or listen to and why? As we journeyed around Scotland this year, some of the most profound moments were stopping to engage with and listen to whoever we came across. These were not friends, colleagues or family, and few were likely to show up on a Google search or had a big social media following. But one thing they all had in common was that they were incredible human beings. Each with a story, each with purpose and meaning in their life, and each with something to bring to others.


And so it was that we met an older couple outside a small, fairly remote café near Loch Shiel when we were out cycling. They had fishing rods on the car in rod holders, so we started to talk about - you guessed it – fishing. After 20 mins or so, they invited us to come and fish with them the next day on the river Shiel. We spent most of the next day with them in conversation, did a little fishing and ate together in their home. Their hospitality was humbling and their willingness to engage with complete strangers was an inspiration.


Although in this case there was an obvious fishing connection, we’re seeing more and more often that simply stopping and having a conversation with someone is so rewarding. We all have something in common – our humanity. To love another may be to listen to them, to ask questions of them and to learn how incredible they are. And by doing so, they may start to see it for themselves.


When you next come across someone you don’t know, remind yourself how incredible you are. Then try striking up a conversation, do a lot of listening, and find out how incredible they are.

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