You'll only know if you go

Stranger danger is overrated.  At least for adults.

Last week was Earth Week, with Earth Day stuck right in the middle, and Arbor Day winding it down.  A wonderful time and great opportunity to get out and do something a little “green.”
With my wife on her quest to volunteer at 50 charities over one year I’m always on the lookout for opportunities and I thought Earth Week would be an easy to find and fun volunteer outing for the two of us.

We headed up to our home away from home neighborhood when not in downtown Columbus…Clintonville!  It was Friday night and we were meeting up with a crew of people to plant peach and apple trees, mulch, weed, and dig out bulbs and flowers and move them into different spots in a community garden at the Helping Hands Center.

It was a fun experience to plant a tree on Arbor Day…a peach tree in Ohio nonetheless!
But the best part was learning, once again, that getting out of your box and talking to strangers can lead to hilarious stories and wonderful moments of happiness.

As my wife and I pulled weeds I mentioned I had 5 pairs of tickets to Styx next week.  Yes the 80’s rockers are out touring America once again…I can hear Mr Roboto, Renegade, and Come Sail Away as we speak!
I also said to my wife I wasn’t quite sure how I’d unload 10 tickets to Styx.

Just then the team leader on the project popped his around the corner and said “Did you guys say Styx is coming to town?”
He then proceeded to bust out a few lines of Renegade as though he was the headlining act at a karaoke contest.
I told him how I had free tickets and he could have a pair or two and you would have thought I handed him a million dollars in cash or a magic potion to cure poverty.
He was ecstatic beyond words and ran around the fence to give me a big “Earth Week Hug!”

My wife and I got back to work laughing and smiling when the girl working with us said “Wait…did you say Styx was coming to town, sorry I was kind of in the zone working for a minute?!”
Once again we said YES and did she want some tickets?
Another round of high fives and hugs ensued when she realized the golden ticket she had scored!

We wrapped up the evening about an hour or so later with their addresses to  mail the tickets, dirt on our knees and in our fingernails, trees planted, and cliff bars as a reward for a job well done!

The point is human interaction is just as fun and personal as it always has been if you let it happen.
We could have pointed to the numerous reasons to not volunteer on a Friday night.  
The Styx die hards didn’t have to actually talk to us at the outing and could have chosen to be silent and avoid eye contact.
I didn’t have to pay for postage and send them the tickets.
They didn’t have to send me kind thank you text messages about how grateful they are.

But we all did.  And you’ll only have those memorable funny moments of laughter in your life if you choose to get out there with other people and do stuff you love.
Embrace being uncomfortable and the fear of the unknown.  Strangers aren’t good for toddlers but sometimes they can make an evening for an adult.

The next time you are wondering “What’s in it for me?” if I go do this…think about the fact you’ll only find out what’s in store if you make the effort and go!

If you are curious…I’m all out of Styx tickets…sorry!

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