Sitting thinking about things that really grind my gears.  The problems that our country face really make me start to think about the people around me.  Not my friends, co-workers and family; but the people I see everyday and know nothing about.

A regular came in at my job and for some reason, on this his hundredth visit I finally decided to find out a little about him.  Turns out he’s up so late because he’s studying for school.  I ask him what he’s studying for and tells me that he’s currently earning his MBA.  He laughs, saying that it seems crazy that a man his age (45) is in school, but he is an eternal student.  He works as an engineer and has been to 3 different schools up to this point in life.  Now all he has to do is graduate and start finding where he’ll earn his doctorate!  So inspiring that a man whom I rarely talk to has all this story behind him.

Then I start to think about all the people I see everyday, and don’t even know their first name.  The number is high, I would say in the 60’s.  These people span all different walks of life.  Business people, janitors, law-men, door people, sandwich makers, homeless, hungry.  And they each have unique stories that placed them in my presence, crossing paths, waiting in lines, and smiling or shuffling by me.

I feel ashamed that I can’t say anything about these people.  And I am even more ashamed that some I just ignore.  I walk by with ear phones in, pretending to be busier than I am to avoid eye contact, conversation, or God-forbid a smile.  This is what I was trained to do though.  We all were as children.  That inquisitive nature that pushed us to stare a little too long, or ask “rude” questions was blocked under the rules of propriety.  The training to be polite, and sit still and don’t fidget, and be quiet.  Can’t we have manners and share still?  Will it be so bad, if I asked a name, about a family, or a dream?  Even if I’ve never shared a minute with them before?  What is playing on my headphones that can’t wait til later when I am truly by myself?


Sweet pic from an artist, S.C. Durkin performing public art

Published in: on March 10, 2011 at 1:53 am  Leave a Comment  

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