What is a stranger? That is the question being asked by the students of YPT’s Young Playwrights’ Workshop in their play, The Young Playwrights’ Workshop Presents: Welcome to Our World, which will be performed on Monday, June 11 at GALA Hispanic Theatre. Workshop member Patricio Juarez explains, “Every great story begins when two people meet for the first time.” So we asked our staff to share stories of a time when they met a stranger who had an effect on them. To share a story and get it posted to our blog, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few years ago, I was waiting for the bus to the airport so I could fly home for Thanksgiving. After a few minutes, a priest in clerical wear joined me. He struck up a conversation about an employee of his that he was feeling conflicted about. The employee had struggled with drug addiction for some time, and the priest gave him the job to get help him back on his feet, but the man had relapsed and the priest was unsure as to whether to give him another chance. We began discussing it and soon our conversation moved to faith and Christianity in general, which I had to admit I didn’t have much interest in after growing up in a church that I felt was too focused on fear and exclusion. The priest rolled his eyes and said that he couldn’t stand churches that took the loving messages of God and used them to turn us against one another. He assured me that in his church, everyone was treated equally and making the world a better place was the focus. Since I was a kid, I had always felt like practicing my religion meant being prejudiced and discriminatory, but this priest made me see that that’s not the case. He made me hopeful that I could have religious faith, something that had been very important to me in the past, without looking down on others. He gave me the name and phone number of his church, and while I never went, I no longer made assumptions about people with strong religious faith. He made me see that many are open minded, loving people.
As we were parting ways that day, he smiled at me and told me that our interaction had inspired him, and he was going to give his employee another chance.
Don’t miss The Young Playwrights’ Workshop Presents: Welcome to Our World on June 11 at 7pm at GALA Hispanic Theatre!