What if  

SpaceRangerNJ 55M
2357 posts
11/28/2005 9:52 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

What if

When you are out there, in the real world, how do you view other people?
Do you see the other drivers as only drivers?
In the mall, are the other people just shoppers?
How about someone at work who you don't know well, do you just see them as an employee?
Every day, lots of things happen; good things, bad things, everyday things. The person in that other car, who just cut you off, could have had any number of things happen to them that morning, the day before, a week ago. Would you think twice about calling them an idiot if you found out they just got news the day before that a loved one is dying of cancer? Would you understand why they might be distracted? The person behind the counter at the store, how do you treat them if they are not so pleasant? If they were your neighbor would you cut them some slack? Would you maybe be concerned rather than angry and wonder what you could do to bring a smile to their face?
Think about a place that you go, a bakery, the dry cleaners, the coffee shop, where you normally are there for only a few minutes. Have you ever been there for really long time for one reason or another? Long enough to see a whole lot of other people's minutes. How did it compare to yours? Did it give you a new perspective on what it's like to be behind the counter and part of all those minutes? What patterns did you see that you never thought about? What things went on that you never saw because you were never there at that time of day before? Did it change the way you behaved the next time you were only there for a few minutes?
What if everyone you ran across you thought of as a friend, a neighbor, a loved one, instead of the idiot in the other car, the jerk at the check out counter, the nut in front of you in line? What if you remembered how it was when you had a bad morning and maybe weren't at your best. Did you want someone to give you the benefit of the doubt? Ease up on you a little? Will you do the same for others even if they aren't your neighbor, your friend, your loved one?
Maybe the person is really a class A jerk. But without seeing a pattern of behavior how do you know? Is that sales clerk always a grump every time you go into the store?
So do you put people into nice neat compartments, driver, shopper, employee, or do you remember they are people, just like you who also at that moment happen to be driving, shopping or working?

This kinda rambled but you get the point - don't ya?

LustGoddess2469 50F  
2453 posts
11/29/2005 5:16 pm

What an excellent post, Space. It really makes one stop and think. I will admit that I have been guilty of neat compartmentalization (is that a word?) more times than not. I do love to people-watch, however, and when my life is sufficiently slowed down enough for me to do so, I enjoy sitting and watching people, their interaction with their friends or loved ones, trying to figure out if they're on a mission or just strolling, etc. I think that with the pace of most lives today, people have chosen the neat compartments as a way to simplify their own lives. Your post is a good reminder to slow down and try to appreciate everyone around you.


SpaceRangerNJ 55M
4687 posts
12/3/2005 9:29 pm

Kate, I thought that was you making that cute little noise.

Lusty, yeah I guess I did describe people watching. Would have been a shorter post if I could have just remembered that short little phrase. I wanted to describe "people watching" but at a different level. With much more of a critical eye. It's the scientist in me.

Nic, your comment reminds me of my theory on tipping the wait staff. Most of the time I figure what ever might have gone wrong is not their fault. And I figure if they aren't pleasant that they, as you thought of the receptionist, might just be having a bad day. They rely so much on the tips since their hourly wage is so low it really takes a lot to make me leave a small tip.

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