I have never been one gifted with small talk, I prefer to jump into meatier subjects and put away the lighter fare for silliness and games. Sometimes this is a struggle, because small talk can be nice at the occasional function and in elevators. But, in general I find that most people really want a moment when the small talk can go away and instead will be really honest. So, on the trip, I met someone that needed that moment where small talk was passed over for something more understanding.
It was in a wonderful Mexican restaurant at an open air mall in Florida that our waitress came, and did a beautiful job with the service. I will call her E. E started out just providing service, taking orders and filling refills. But, the lighter fare turned into something more meaningful as we found out that E was a mom who was working on getting her life back after recovering from a drug addiction. A mother of two girls and a mommy to be of a new baby, this woman was searching for something more than a discussion of the freshness of the food or good service. It was a pleasure meeting her, and learning about her determination to regain her girls and her life.
Maybe you are like E and need someone to talk to. Maybe you are listening to E. Either way, sometimes we need to ditch the small talk and reach for something more important. It may be with the server at the restaurant, a neighbor, co-worker, or friend. Just be open to considering it, listen for the opportunity and when it comes, be ready to take it. You might be the only encouragement of the day.