Please! And don’t do it in public – EVER. Because there are people who are watching that you’re not aware of – like me.
One of my favorite things to do is to people watch, and that’s what I’m doing as I’m writing this post. I’m sitting on the subway on my way to work and I’m watching the people around me. I find it fascinating to observe them and try to figure out their stories. So much you can find out about a person just by quietly watching them.
For example, the woman sitting directly in front of me is twirling her wedding band with her thumb, she is slouching, constantly checking her cell phone and is lost in thought. I suspect she may have a family member on her mind, and could be waiting to receive some important news. She looks like she could use a hug, but for some reason, I have a fear of being arrested for hugging a stranger kind of trumps my need to comfort her!
The man to the right of me is very rigid, looking at his watch and is huffing and puffing every few seconds. He is clearly agitated with something – perhaps the subway service? As a result, everyone is steering clear of him. Amazing that no one wants to get within two feet of him considering the subway is packed. He likely wouldn’t take kindly to the idea of me writing about him. He’d probably be pissed! Hehehehe.
The school girl seems very bored, and doesn’t seem to want to go wherever she is going – probably school. She’s standing at the doors, staring at the floor, listening to her iPod and doesn’t even notice the movement around her. She doesn’t even notice me watching her!
What is the point to my rambling? I do have one – I promise. My point is this: we don’t have to connect with people on an intimate level to appreciate what they are feeling. We may not know the intimacies of their situation, but we can see a bit into their lives if we try.
I could be totally off with my assumption of what the root issue is for the ring-twirler and why she is feeling what she is feeling, but I can see the concern on her face. I don’t know what is irritating the grumpy guy next to me, but I can tell that he isn’t happy. And I don’t know why the school girl isn’t happy, but I can tell that she has no joy at the moment. I am asking that you just take a look and really see the people around you. You can do something so little to help change their day.
All it took was to smile at the ring-twirler, and some of the tension eased form her face. I picked up the newspaper off the ground which slipped off of grumpy’s lap, and he relaxed for a moment, and the school girl, I complimented her on her shoes and she lit up.
What small gesture can you do today to help a total stranger out? It could mean the world of a difference to them.