…or the strange place I sometimes end up in when my mind wanders. 🙂
I experienced two very different human interactions this morning on my commute.
The first happened when I was getting off the train and shuffling towards the stairwell to leave the platform along with a ton of other commuters. An older lady had one of those rolling suitcases with a bunch of stuff piled on top it and was heading towards the stairs. And without hesitation, a gentleman who boards at my station picked up the suitcase (stuff and all) and proceeds to bring it down 2 flights of stairs for this woman. He didn’t even ask if she needed help (it was obvious that she wouldn’t have gotten it down herself) – he took charge, picked it up, and off he went. As I continued on my walk, I imagined how this man behaved at home and in other aspects of his every day life. Does he often just “do” things? Is he the guy who helps his neighbors? Helps his friends and family? If helping people come so naturally to him, what he does do for a living? Is he a teacher, a nurse, a therapist? I was impressed.
As I was pondering this, the second thing happened.
On my walk from the train station to work, I usually take the Path (underground walkway) and I enter a building that has a revolving door. The person in front of me lining up to use this revolving door is a guy, about 5’2″, solidly built (not a skinny minnie), loose jeans hanging lower than is considered professional, jean jacket. The way he held himself and his general posture was “I’m going to take up as much space as I can”. He went into the revolving door and I was in the section behind him. The guy barrels through the door pushing much faster/harder than the norm. He didn’t cause any accidents but everyone in the door had to rush to get through so things wouldn’t get crazy.
So I started thinking to myself (I do that a lot) – What would possess someone to do something like that? What could this guy have lived through in his life to result in wanting to be so big, to take up so much space, and be so disruptive. To be seen, to be noticed. I created a whole world for this guy – he was a relatively small guy and was probably picked on growing up. Possibly ignored or disregarded as the “runt” of the litter. He may have gotten used to being the loudest or the biggest, just to be noticed at all. Maybe he was often told to “come on” and to “hurry up”, so he now acts in ways to prevent that type of criticism; rushing when there’s no real need to, just to deflect any negative judgment. So I decided to forgive his actions because of his tortured and bullied upbringing because clearly, he has enough demons to fight off already.
People are truly fascinating.