I think the theme of today’s post will be something I’ve observed over the past few weeks.
On the whole, individuals tend to think they are fairly uninteresting people. Everyone has their fair share of stories but…are they engaging enough?
I think so. I think humans are terribly, terribly curious creatures. We think we’re boring, or routine, or even in a stasis of placid contentment if you want to go in that direction but – we’re not.
(At least, we intrigue each other. I’m not entirely sure about what animals or extra terrestrials think of us, but perhaps that is entirely for the best.)
But, think about it. Media, news, blogs, television shows, magazine articles, documentaries, interviews, those are all platforms we use to discuss ideas and share and satiate our curiosity. And that’s all without even looking back into the past at historical texts, documents, primary sources murals or first-hand accounts.
One of my favourite things to do is people-watching. Sit in a comfortable spot, with some appropriately caffeinated drink and a half-abandoned book and watch people walk past my little corner of the world. Watch people. That’s it. That’s what I like to do. I don’t even have to really surmise anything or create a story about their lives, just pick up on tiny details.
The buttons on one man’s coat, one young woman’s worn-out favourite hat, polished shoes, upturned cuffs, tiny wee shoes equipped with flashing lights, hair bows, ties and everything else. I like to see what books people are reading on trains, buses and trams. Couples, parents clutching tiny hands, best friends, public shouting matches, overhearing conversations in Spanish on the bus.
(One of the advantages of having studied a language at university, although I can’t say I have ever actually crashed any of the parties that were discussed.)
Individually, many of us are convinced we don’t really have anything worthwhile to contribute to society, stories, books, artwork, music – most of us leave it to someone we consider to be more experienced, better qualified, or more creative. But we’re all interesting, and all intrigued by each other. That curiosity is what causes us to explore the sky and space and the sea and look for things in the ground.
But sometimes the most domestic, the most ‘ordinary’, the most familiar are the most remarkable things. I know I talk a lot about actively trying to appreciate life’s little luxuries, but we’re not boring, and you’re not boring.
Don’t let anyone tell you any different. There’s probably someone out there like myself who likes to watch people go by and appreciates you for your little eccentricities.
(Although if you’re planning a party in another language, be careful, okay? Okay.)