Just spent a week at a very lively and well-attended convention. There were people of all age groups, sizes and colors. It was interesting to sit back and “people watch.” Sitting in a restaurant having lunch, I observed an elderly couple entering from the back to keep from walking extra steps to the main entrance. They pulled up the cord from the stanchions and entered. My immediate thought was, “Wow, why did they have to do that?” Then I had a second thought that perhaps they were doing their physical best. They were to be commended for making the effort to attend the convention. They were energetic enough to want to do something, like “move” away from the living room sofa and get out amongst their peers. Maybe they were tired and just needed to sit. My initial judgement of their behavior ceased at that moment. Plus, hadn’t they paid their dues? They sat down as the server took their order. They only needed water, they said to her, as they pulled out sandwiches they had brought from home.
I then observed a young woman who walked up to the front of the line where her friend stood holding a space for her. Her friend, along with the rest of us, had been in line for almost an hour. I saw others turning their heads with a surprised look on their faces as if they wanted to say, “the nerve of her!” I could imagine them saying, “We had to wait, so should she. Move to the end of the line.”
My next observation came during a visit to the “women’s powder room” – nicely stated for the lavatory. You’d be amazed at the things you see and hear in the ladies room. I would venture to say that a public restroom might not be a place where you do much looking around – just get in and out. However, a senior lady who relied on a cane to ambulate, walked slowly to a stall and was amazed at the lighting in the back of it. She immediately shouted, “This is nice. Never saw lighting in the back of a stall before.” I started to wonder, “Had I?” Couldn’t remember if I had even noticed one way or the other.
Needless to say, I had a very inspiring and educational week at the convention. Suggest you try it sometime. You’ll hear some of the darndest things. You’ll also be reminded, to some extent, we are all alike – one culture: with human emotions, thoughts, sorrow, pain, suffering, longing to be more, do more and have more. It’s the stuff life is made of.