When I’m at work up on my drawbridge and the weather is nice, I often like to sit with the windows open. We get quite a few walkers and joggers on the bridge, and a few will wave as they go by, but more often than not people will look right at me and not really see me. It’s a strange phenomenon. They will chat about the most intimate, personal and shocking things with each other, as if they think I won’t hear them. I know more than a few secrets and scandals that I would rather not have become privy to.
When I tell people what I do for a living, they will frequently say they cross that bridge all the time and didn’t even realize someone was up there. It’s not like we’re hiding. And the bridge certainly does not open itself. Go figure.
It makes me wonder how many other people go unnoticed in this world. Can you describe your mailman or the person who rings up your groceries? Does the receptionist at your doctor’s office have blond hair or black? What was your toll booth operator wearing just now? Who just handed you that double hamburger with cheese?
I recently wrote a blog entry called “This is Who I Am” and mentioned that the older I have gotten, the more invisible I seem to have become, and I’ve gotten a great deal of feedback from people who share that experience.
We’re all unique individuals with lives and stories to tell, but it seems that a great deal of us wander about unseen, or at least unacknowledged and unappreciated.
As you go through your day today, look at the people with whom you cross paths, and really, really try to see them.
The Happy Donor by Magritte, one of my favorite artists.