Thursday, January 12, 2012

Flicker of Inspiration Prompt #33: Common Ground

Did you like that last prompt? It was all planned out, really. It wasn't just a convenient way to cover up the mack of a timely prompt. Really. Would I lie to you? Of course.

Have you ever met a complete stranger? It stands to reason that you probably have at some point; the world is quite full of them, after all. But give it a bit of thought: have you really? When and how did you meet someone you knew nothing about and shared nothing with? Even in very impersonal settings, you and the strangers around you have things in common. The person next yo you on the airplane needs to travel in the same direction you do, for instance. You share the natural inclination toward utter terror at the thought of being very far away from the ground. And you're both sitting next to a nearly complete stranger.

It's funny what else you might have in common. "Hey, you like the Muppets? Animal is my favorite. Wow, really? I liked that bit too."  Turns out, complete strangers tend to live in the same world we do. In fact, people we meet in seemingly random circumstances tend to be doing similar things. Taking the airplane example, for instance, you'd be unlikely to meet a farmer from South America on any given domestic flight, although that would be an interesting conversation. "So where are you flying?" "Oh, I have a field I need to plow on the east coast." "Oh, really?" "Yeah, I'm thinking of planting onions, it seems like a good year for it."

So your assignment this week is "Common Ground", and I'm leaving it pretty open to interpretation. You can tell about an actual time when you found unexpected common ground with a stranger, by coincidence or just trying to get to know each other, or you can make up a circumstance where two people who actually have no common ground meet each other and maybe get along? Or not. Or get literal and tell about two or more people sharing a piece of land. We'll set the word limit at 800 for this one; try and make up something to fit the theme "Common Ground" for Sunday under that limit, and we'll see you all then! Happy writing times!