Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.


Posted at — Nov 2, 2022

This is part of the grateful series.

It’s fascinating to reflect on the relationships you have and digest that they all started with strangers. Every friend, colleague, teammate, and partner started as an unfamiliar face, probably probed with questions like, “what’s your name?”.

A younger, more naive version of myself wasn’t aware of how frequent the evolution from and to a stranger is. As I become richer in experience, I’ve witnessed this frequently; growing from stranger to acquaintance, acquaintance to friend, friend to more, and then back to a stranger.

The transitions between unfamiliarity and familiarity are inevitable. Knowing this to be a truth of life can empower you to make the most of your relationships. Be honest, be yourself, and explore the humanity of whoever you’re with—people enter and exit your life for varying durations and different reasons. Everyone has a different story—make the most of your time by trying to understand their story. It can help expand your perspective and improve your own judgement.

A valuable exercise to perform is to go through the people you value and remind yourself of a time when you were strangers. Recall a time when you didn’t know your best friend like you do today, when you hadn’t lived the experiences or built the trust you share today. It’s a powerful experience that reminds me of the depth I’ve built in my relationships—it makes me feel grateful for those around me.

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