"Let me get a look at you."
Riding to the airport early last Saturday, the driver and I were discussing work and life. He asked me what I did and I told him about Batch and how we ship locally made items to monthly subscribers.
"So you make things?" he asked.
"I don't," I replied. (That honor, of course, belongs to our vast network of passionate purveyors.) "But we work with lots of people who do and we help them find new customers."
"Let me get a look at you," he said, turning all the way around while driving quickly down the highway. "There's not many people like you, making things."
Once he began to face the road again, we continued our discussion until I was dropped off, me asking him questions about India and he telling me about his life here.
Observation is a fantastic first reaction when we encounter something we're not familiar with, or something that amazes us. Stepping back, taking a look, digging in, and learning is a much better reaction than judgement, vitriol, neglect, yelling, or name-calling.
So when you find yourself in the midst of something new - and I hope you always have the chance to discover something new - take a look around. Soak it in with your eyes, your ears, and hopefully afterward, your heart.