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EYES OF A DOCTOR, EYES OF A JUDGE

Let's suppose that on your way to work each morning, you usually stop at a Starbucks. You tend to get to the store at the same time each morning, and you usually see a young girl who gets there about the same time you do. On many mornings you find yourselves standing next to each other in line. In fact, you both order the same thing--double espresso with skim milk. She seems to be into the gothic culture--black hair, black clothes, knee-high jackboots, black fingernails, black lipstick, piercings in the nose, lips, ears, and eyebrows, and scattered tattoos.

She usually has a backpack that she has to take off to get her money, and sometimes it seems hard for her to hold the backpack, get the money, and pay for the coffee all at the same time. She doesn't make too much eye contact with others. You wonder whether you should strike up a conversation with her--maybe offer to hold her backpack while she pays. You're not sure what to do with the whole gothic bit, and you don't know whether she'd give you a dark look and not say anything. Should you try to be friendly? Maybe find out what brings you both to the same Starbucks each morning? See if she ever tries any of the other specialty coffees? Move toward greeting her each morning? Learn about other parts of her life?

Yes! By all means! Move into her world. Make a comment one day about how the barista probably already knows both of your orders as soon as you walk in the door. Offer to hold her backpack while she pays. A couple of days later, tell her...

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