Have you ever stopped to think of how many people you actually see every single day? Tons of people cross our paths. Some we might stop and stare at, while others get a half second glance. What sort of thoughts run through your mind when you see people? Maybe you like their outfit, the style of their hair. Maybe they have striking eyes that you're drawn to. Or maybe they look like they just rolled outta bed, and their hair is a mess. Regardless, it's so easy for us to see others and make our own judgements about that person.
But have you ever stopped to really "people watch"? I love to do this whenever I have the time. My favorite place to people watch is at the airport, or even at the train station. Somewhere where there's a multitude of different people passing through. Different races, different classes, different sizes, it all intrigues me.
We never really think about that person after they've lost our attention though. We don't take into consideration what that person's thoughts are or what they deal with when they go home. I've seen many homeless people living on the street, and while it's so easy to pass judgements on why that person is homeless, or why don't they just get up and get a job, we hardly consider what type of person they were before you saw them.
I worked with someone for many years. We started our job at the exact same time. She was very pleasant, came to work early every single day, passed all her training tests, and really excelled. She carried herself very well and one would think that she probably has a family at home, 2 kids, a husband, and a dog in the backyard. We used to eat lunch together everyday, and just through us getting to know each other, she told me that for the first 6 months on the job, she was actually living in her car. She had gotten laid off from her previous employer where she worked in Human Resources (go figure) and hasn't worked in over 5 years, and in that time she lost her house, her family, and everything she valued. The clothes she wore to work were donations, and she cleaned up in the bathroom at a gas station. I was so shocked to hear this, but by the time our lunch was over that day, I had so much more respect for her, and her drive to change her situation. She admitted that it wasn't easy and at times, even when we started working together, she wanted to give up and end it all.
You don't know what someone's reality is at first glance, or the second for that matter. Compassion for others tends to get lost amongst viral videos and the newest trends, that we lose sight of the world that surrounds us. Even with natural disasters and all the bad topics making the news, it really is a beautiful place with ENDLESS things to see, we just have to take the time to see it.
"Change the way you look at people, and the people you look at change." --@justdoingitca