Iris Hernandez

Published: December 6, 2007 at 2:05 PM

Amen to that! Thank you Robert....I will be taking you up on that advice from now on.
Gareth H

Published: December 6, 2007 at 6:00 PM

Please don't move to Florida Robert.
Robert Niles

Published: December 6, 2007 at 6:09 PM

Too late. Already lived there. Year and a half in S.W. Orlando. Right across the street from... Universal Orlando.
Anthony Murphy

Published: December 6, 2007 at 7:12 PM

Excellent post Robert!
Gareth H

Published: December 6, 2007 at 8:46 PM

Don't move back here then, lol.

Were you near Conroy Windermere by any chance?

Melissa Faulkner

Published: December 6, 2007 at 10:17 PM

You know Robert, I have thought the exact same thing before. Standing in a long line, waiting for a ride I have looked around me and thought that for that brief time thousands of us are all enjoying the exact same thing, doing the same thing, eating the same things. It is an amazing feeling when that dawns on you. My heart and prayers go out to these families.
matthew romick

Published: December 7, 2007 at 3:58 AM

wow, robert that is advise I'll have for ever.
my hart goes out to the families in Omaha.
Lawrence Smith

Published: December 7, 2007 at 5:37 AM

Excellent and heartfelt post Robert. My deepest condolescenses go out to the families of those who lost their lives in this senseless act of violence. This past summer, my best friend & I were at our at local home park (Six Flags America) and struck up a conversation with a nice young lady & her daughter. To make a long story short, we all became the best of friends. We found out we all have a love for amusement parks & have made several trips together to parks, as well as, played cards together, had dinner together, etc.
tony barker

Published: December 7, 2007 at 6:41 AM

Hi, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Here in the UK we don't have quite the same issues with guns, but it is on the increase and is an obvious worry. Any violent act, no matter what "device" you use, is unnecessary and I agree that these kids obviously feel something is deeply wrong to have to go to these lengths.

It's very easy for all of us to stereotype those we don't understand, but by very simply communicating with each other things can get better. It's not a perfect world and never will be, but we can all individually make a difference. How many of us know how our neighbours are, or how they are?

Perhaps it's time we checked and rebuilt our communities for the better of all of us, including the younger generation who will be around the reap the benefits.

Mark Hollamon

Published: December 7, 2007 at 6:50 AM

Outstanding post Robert. It is sad that many times it takes great tragedy to make us very thankful for what we have. We have become so techno-isolated that the art of conversation and interaction is so often lost in the shuffle.

I myself really do not even know my neighbors' names and I have lived in my home since 2003. They are going to think I am nuts, but I am going to introduce myself to all this weekend.....and go to Epcot!

Don Neal

Published: December 7, 2007 at 7:26 AM

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and perspective on this Robert. You make a lot of great points. Community is what we make of it and it will be as large or small as what we invest into it. And most of the time people underestimate what a friendly smile, saying hello, holding a door for someone, or just small talk will do for people. Thanks for the great read!
Matthew Baker

Published: December 7, 2007 at 8:06 AM

Good read, and true. Good advice too, although it applies mainly to majority base-personalities. I'd do this--if I were such a majority. But making random conversation really isn't within everybody's capacity. Not necessarily from shyness or similar affliction, but simply having a base-personality that isn't conducive to it. I'd encourage those who are "prone to" spur-of-the-moment interaction to try it out on those who look like they aren't. Not random chit-chat--keep it on topic. You'll find that a lot of us will enjoy the company, might have a lot to offer in return, and might even enjoy having a new "playmate" for a while. (It's been my experience that people at theme parks are nearly always in a group of their own, and only interact with others within the group, with little or no interest in anybody else outside of the group. For me at least, being alone in a crowd is a very typical circumstance.)
Barbara Boyer

Published: December 8, 2007 at 7:07 AM

My respect for this forum has increased tremendously while reading these comments from my fellow theme park adventurers. My tears are flowing as I write this, for the families who have lost loved ones, and for all of us, who wander through life hoping to make connections with others - thank you Robert, for bringing us together like this, in this time of extreme sadness.
Mike West

Published: December 7, 2007 at 10:19 AM

Thanks Robert,
Things like this give great cause for reflection.
And I am always the talker to strangers...everywhere I go.
In line(It helps when you wear your ACE jackets). I've talked to fols from around the world, and it;s so uplifting.
Believe that we are one community, one civilization. Behave as though we are, & that's most of what we need.
Thank goodness we don't (yet)live in a country which has completely cut us off from one another.
In a political year, I'd like to remind everyone to watch the attitudes of politicians when it comes to issues which separate rather than be inclusive to people in our country.
Karin S

Published: December 8, 2007 at 7:27 AM

Well said, Robert and particularly well timed, considering the Season. We really need to slow down and re-connect with people - even strangers standing in lines with us - whether it be at a themepark or shopping center. An act of kindness or a laugh shared can do so much to lift someone out of a slump.
Robert Niles

Published: December 8, 2007 at 1:11 PM

Thanks for all the kind responses. Best wishes... and thanks for reading TPI!