I was at the airport today, because due to some sort of event extraordinaire, it was once again open. Whilst there, I saw a couple of families with kids.
Two siblings, both boys, were standing in front of me in the check in line. I don’t know how old they were, but I’m guessing 4 and 2. As their mom checked in another family was checking in next to them. A boy, maybe 3 or 4, was with that family. As the kids met, they stood about a meter or less apart and stared at each other. They didn’t say anything, they just looked at one another. It was as if they recognized that they had something in common – they were all kids and they were boys. It was as if they were trying to take this in. Figure each other out.
One little one who was waiting by the gate was standing looking around at all the people, who were smiling at him. It was like he was checking everyone out, trying to make out what kind of people they were.
When you get older you don’t stare at people. This is rude. Instead you quickly glance at someone and make up your mind about them. Rude to stare. Right. Yet, in those few seconds you made up your mind about a person. I’m not saying you can’t – if you know people, you know a lot from just looking at them for a few seconds, but you don’t know the whys, now do you? Or you know why that person became that way? Unless you are a mind reader, and I mean a real one, not a mentalist, it would be hard to know.
I was looking out the bus window the other day. The bus was driving through a field next to the sea. It was a grayish day, filled with clouds. I thought about painting the scenery – it was a perfect watercolor. I pondered on the colors I would use. It seemed obvious, right – grays, whites and greens. No, not so. Soon I discovered that just about every other color was also hiding in the fields and the sky that day.
People are like landscapes in a way – some are like mountains, others like the sea, yet others like the fields. We are different, but within the make-up of each person is the same rainbow of colors, if some more prominent than others.
We all like kids. Maybe because we know they are unlikely to judge us if we are nice to them, whereas grown-ups will judge us even if we are nice to them. Nor are kids very set in their ways, so it might be easier for us to get along with them.
Of course we all have more, or less, in common with certain people and it has been proven that within seconds you will figure out whom you have the most in common with in a group. Even though we don’t have that much in common with someone though, it doesn’t mean that they are bad people, or that we have the right to look down on them. If we understood a person’s past, their thoughts and emotional states, I think it would be very hard for us to judge them. We might not want to necessarily be friends with them, but when you understand someone it’s hard not to feel some sort of connection. After all, the color palette is the same. And I’ll be damned if you can’t learn something from everyone you meet. So if that is to diminish the part of you that’s like them, but maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised and learn that within them, just as within you, somewhere there is gold.
I think people watch TV, read books and go to the movies to see what other people think like, to somehow belong with them a bit and through their journey get to understand themselves a bit better. Yet, when we meet each other in life we often focus on what makes us so different from one another. Because let’s face it – we have no great adventure to relate to, as we don’t know them. We cannot see their adventure (even if we know them, we only see them in the moment, not in the perspective of time – we are not watching the journey, we are part of it), hence we just judge their behavior.
When I paint a portrait of someone I always find beauty in their features, because they tell a tale, a journey. When I meet someone in the street I register their general style, mood and behavior. I have no time to look for their journey. No time to find beauty. Or do I? Am I just blind? Am I stressing to make millions when I could be engaging in life? Do I care more about Louis Vuitton (or, well, my “oh so exciting” business that will, praise the lord, hopefully buy my a new handbag…well you know my old Vuitton is falling to pieces, so it’s about time…;)) than taking a moment to just be with someone. Not just be there, but be with them?
I realize that when I spend time with certain relatives I get bored. I want to go back to working on something. The only reason I’m bored is because I am not focused. So if I don’t agree with them in everything, I could at least pay them the courtesy of truly being there for them, with them. And learn something new about the person right in front of me.
When I saw this little kid at the airport looking around at everyone it baffled me how easy it can be to forget about what matters most – the person standing right in front of you. Next time I meet someone I would love just to stand stare them in the eye for a while. Study them. All of them. And instead of thinking it’s rude, I think staring is the greatest compliment you could ever pay someone.
People say that you’re going the wrong way when it’s simply a way of your own.
I don’t believe in guilt, I believe in living on impulse as long as you never intentionally hurt another person, and don’t judge people in your life. I think you should live completely free.
Love one person, take care of them until you die. You know, raise kids. Have a good life. Be a good friend. And try to be completely who you are. And figure out what you personally love. And like go after it with everything you’ve got no matter how much it takes.
That’s the reason we kind of exist. It’s like our Job. To give to each other. And learn from each other. To capture moments of people. So it’s really strange to have somebody ignore the obvious human being right in front of them.
– Angelina Jolie