I posted about Consequential Strangers, after hearing a story on NPR. The book is great, and the concept has been very applicable to Restorative Justice. Explaining the social convoy, and concept really draws out awesome stories. I also made my list of 100 important people, you might want to consider giving that a try. The person I named my daughter after, wasn’t even on that list, but all the same, he’s a consequential stranger.
I was getting ready for day two of a Circle training, and I knew that I wanted to present the importance of ALL relationships, and share the “people really matter’ consequential stranger concept. I was mulling over this notion, answering emails and a coworker (yes I now have a coworker) asked how I named my daughter. In total Kris Miner ADD fashion, I said “Hey that’s it, thats the story for Circle today, thanks, perfect!” It could have been her cold medicine, it could have been me, she looked slightly confused. I briefly explained my story. I told the whole thing later in Circle to introduce consequential strangers. I’ll blog the story here, a few more details than the Circle.
I got pregnant in college, a complete, unexpected shock. I even called the 1-800 number on the pregnancy test, to let them know they were distributing a faulty product. I had a positive test and there was no way I could be pregnant. When the person on the phone asked if I had unprotected sex, I shot back “what’s that got to do with it”.
Nearly 9 months later, it was the end of the semester and I was at a geography test. Somehow I locked my keys in my car. My apartment keys in the car, the spare set of car keys at the apartment. I barely knew Wylie. He was a cool guy on campus. He was a cowboy with a great butt! We went on one date, and shortly after I found out I was pregnant. He was a distant friend of a friend. Somehow after class he found out I locked my keys in my car.
He helped me out, at his own expense. On the way to my apartment he got pulled over, his tabs were expired. I think he mentioned that was why he wasn’t driving much. I felt so bad. He did his best to play down he now had a fine. He popped off a screen, crawled down into my basement apartment. Something at 8.5 months pregnant I would not have been able to do.
It occurred to me to remove the W, and add the K, to create Kylie. Wylie was so original, in person and name. I thought I created a new name. Because of Kris, the “K” thing seemed cute, I was 23 years old. Turns out Kylie was not the original creation I thought.
How she was named was always known to her. When friends ask, I’ve over heard her tell a brief version of the story.
When I told the story in Circle, I shared that I don’t remember Wylie’s last name. He doesn’t know he has a kid named after him. I have no idea what he did with his life after college. Yet the time he spent helping out a pregnant classmate, that act of kindness lives on and on. People who don’t seem to matter, but really do. Consequential Strangers.