I came across a show on BYUtv sometime last year that I've taken to watching online when I get a moment. It's called 'The Story Trek' and you can check it out here.
I. Love. This. Show.
The premise behind the show is that everyone has a story worth telling. It's a little show and the budget's obviously not huge, but in a nutshell Todd the presenter takes his crew to various towns/cities, and then they start door knocking until they find people willing to let them in and be interviewed for the show. I imagine sometimes it takes a while, but these stories, well, they're wonderful.
Even more than the individual stories and the actual show though, I love the idea behind the show. Because I have long believed (and thanks for backing me up here Todd) that there is something interesting, and special and, well time-worthy in everyone. If you just take the time to look.
During my film degree I definitely found myself leaning more towards the academic side of the curriculum than to the practical side. But my very favourite of the practical stuff was the personal documentary genre. Somewhat randomly, the National Film Board of Canada has a really wonderful reputation (and I'd suspect quite a healthy budget) for having produced some remarkable documentaries over the decades, and they really have this personal doco thing down. I remember watching films on all sorts of wonderful 'unremarkable' people from train track cleaners to marching girls, and I think that's when I first fell in love with this style of production. Because so many of them were people that you would probably never have looked twice at. They lived 'small' lives, but when you got to spend an hour with them, well, you realized just how interesting they were, and you couldn't help but feel a little sad that the people you saw walking past them on the streets didn't seem to see it.
Without a doubt, my favourite part of the job I have today is interviewing people. Especially if the video we're making gives me a little leeway to spend some time portraying who they are and what their lives are like. Because honestly, people are divine. And spending time with people, and seeing them (really seeing them) is about all the testimony I need to know that we really are children of a magnificent God.
If it was a little more socially acceptable to walk up to strangers and start questioning them about the intimate details of their lives, I'd probably spend a fair amount of time doing just that. BUT, since it's not, I find it helpful to remember as I walk through the grocery store, or sit on a bus, or find myself waiting in a line or being surrounded by a crowd, that each and every one of these people are gems. Even the ones who maybe aren't doing the things they should be doing. They're amazing, and if I could get to know them, (really know them), there'd doubtless be something about them that would inspire me to be a little better myself.
So a smile, a nod, an impromptu conversation, or at least a general feeling of goodwill, is always worth out time :)