My uncle Robin, my dads only brother died last year and I miss him. I often think, “what would uncle Robin do?” I loved to travel with him but it was hard to get anywhere because he would always be talking to someone he had just met. He had a gift of asking great questions right out of the blue to people. They’d be a little shocked but there there was always such a welcoming friendly face asking that they would always respond in kind and it was enjoyable to watch the interaction take place. Uncle Robin left people better than he found then. It’s like that was his job here on earth. He’s having a blast right now in heaven I know it.
Our job on earth is to leave people better than we found them who ever that may be. Sexual sin is rooted in relational isolation and dysfunction. A way to heal that is to get to know people and let them get to know you. Relationships start at a simple level and move on from there. When I’m in my best gregarious uncle Robin mood I’m a master of it as I learned from the best. I have a list of questions I ask people and sometimes the most unique ones are the best. Those questions are prophetic really, they must be seized upon courageously. The right question in the right context, delivered in the right tone will make a person you have never met cry. You’ll have a moment, and you’ll be forever connected. It’s so fun. Those questions that come to mind are fantastic but they don’t always happen right away, sometimes you need to get going in a conversation before they hit you, and on occasion they never happen at all but just remember it’s your job to leave people better and if you’re doin that, you’re doing it right. The beauty is that you get better too because your getting a relational need satisfied and your changing the world through the person right in front of you, it’s a great deal all the way around.
Now back to that list of questions to spring on people. (by the way, never ask a woman when she is due, I’ve missed this twice now and it wasn’t pretty). Here are a few of my regulars:
Where are you from? How’s work going today? I like to compliment people, it works wonders. Love those shoes, or Jacket, this works great for men and women. For women you can compliment hair, teeth, tattoo’s, and cute kids. For men they love to get a positive on their truck, or car, or shirt. If you hit any of those you’re money. One question you will want to skip is “What do you do for a living?” I hate this question, it’s ugly, it’s like passing out business cards at a Rotary meeting. It’s I’ll show you my identity, you show me yours and we’ll compare to see who is better, so if you want to really connect with people, skip this one. My favorite question if you can get to it is where have you traveled to? This will tell you a lot about someone. Also, a great one is where did you go to college? Tell me where you have lived before? What was your favorite class in college?/high school? Do you play an instruments? Where is that accent from? What sports did you play in high school? What do you like to do? Are you from here? Where do the locals like to eat? What shouldn’t I miss when I’m in town? For couples, where did you two meet? What kind of music to do you like? If money wasn’t an issue what would you do with the rest of your life? Ask questions about their kids. Ask kids questions about their school, sports, braces, and if you can find out what they really like they won’t stop talking, it’s big fun.
The right question is love on display. You get to know someone because you care, not because you’re trying to multi level them into your down line. When your motives are pure, they’ll know and you’ll both be better for it. Now with all that said I can’t help myself in trying to slightly influence everyone I meet….that might be pulling them down the Engel Scale toward salvation, or just towards having a positive outlook on the day, I’m doing what I was put here for. Giving men respect, women honor, and kids a push toward a better them albeit a college education, better grades, reading, going out for the football team, international travel, or starting a business I just can’t help myself.
Feel free to use my list, but even better come up with your own and have fun. Meet people, it will make you smarter, and you’ll both be better for it. The right question is healing and sometimes the healing goes both ways.