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Maria Bezaitis discusses how strangeness should be embraced and not be considered a taboo in this knowing strangers keynote.
As a child, people are taught about avoiding individuals they aren’t familiar with. The lesson of not talking to strangers has become a social norm that’s expected from most individuals. According to Bezaitis, what the message really dictates is that individuals should avoid people who are not like them. It provides individuals a means of segregating themselves from people they can relate to between people they can’t relate to.
The question isn’t whether or not individuals should interact with strangers, but rather what can they benefit from having a relationship with that individual. By establishing a relationship with a person outside of their community, individuals can discover new facets of learning that weren’t presented to them beforehand. The reasoning for this is because each individual possess a different set of values.