I’ve been traveling lately, which has given me time to sharpen my observation skills. I’m known to “live in my own world” as my friends and family would say, so I subconsciously opt out of people-watching quite often. It’s not that people don’t interest me, they do. Each person’s idiosyncrasies are quite fascinating to discover. I find that there are small things in each and every person that make them a unique being on this planet of billions. Each quirk, each facial expression, each type of chuckle, we all have that something about us that can never be duplicated. Truth be told, I strongly believe we share more commonalities than differences, regardless of race or culture or age, as humankind we are similar: point.blank.period. Still, it’s nice to know there’s no one else like you walking this earth. Even with identical twins, who are scientifically proven to be carbon copies of one another, there is always someone who can tell them apart (usually a parent or sibling), just by their laugh or walk or the simple way they move. Science says they are one; everything else is a product of environment and socialization.
But I digress.
Like I said, I’ve been plane hoppin’ (are you jealous yet?) and have come across many different people. From the Bay to L.A. to the Big Island (post coming soon), I’ve temporarily departed Planet Me to take note of OTHERS. I warn you, it will sound blandly clichéd, and it’s just my honest observation, but I’ve come to a conclusion about humans. Be prepared for this bombshell I’m about to unload on you:
Most people are good.
Most people are nice, well mannered and generous.
Most people are friendly and empathetic.
Most people are just like me and you.
OF course, I’m not crowning any saints here, but for the most part, I was shocked by the do-gooders that surrounded me this past week. C’mon, even in L.A., home to plasticity, anxiety, constant rush hour and celebrity, people were decent. I had a couple doors opened, by guys who WEREN’T working as doormen, I received a couple ‘thank yous’, and I didn’t get honked at once while riding in the car down Santa Monica Blvd. Mind blowing right? Even when I trekked down the sparsely populated Sunset Blvd in search of throat lozenges and beer (traveling is soooo hard on your body), I almost ran head on into a fellow sufferer of BNS.
Luckily I glanced up just in time to avoid a complete collision with the frantic, lean, sunglass-laced* Armani suit-wearing man jabbering away on a cell phone as he walked a poodle sporting more designer labels than I’ve ever owned. He actually stepped to the side. Gasp! Has the economy depressed even the most neurotic assholes into haphazard well mannered behavior? Or are people too busy to be rude? I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something has shifted and I like it.
I am nice person. Really, I can’t help it. I’m nice by default and by habit. Even if I had to think about it, I would be polite. Believe me when I say I’m not tooting my own horn, but I’ve always been too nice, especially to strangers. It’s a little easier to reserve my bitchiness and attitudal moments for those close to me (they’ll forgive me, eventually), rather than risk a stranger viewing me as a bad person, and me not having a chance to disprove them. I can’t have that on my conscience. Again, with the guilt, I’m just not good at that. I blame my Catholic upbringing. Because of this, I’ll offer my chair to a pregnant woman on the bus, or allow an elderly person to walk as slow as they want in front of me, and remember that the angry customer service rep at Comcast may have had a bad day and the DMV attendant doesn’t like coming to the DMV either, so there’s no point in going postal on their ass!!! If that’s not nice, I don’t know what is!
I’m not going to pretend there weren’t any grade A a-holes or snotty queens along the way; there were! But the good far outweighed the bad. Even parents with small children maintained a cheery disposition as their mini-me’s wailed and whimpered through the 5 hour flight. Maybe they only smiled to keep from crying (understandably so), but their façade worked. We all casually smiled and nodded in an attempt to understand their pain, and to let them know it was ok, we understand. We’ve all been there before. And if we haven’t, I’m sure one day, we will be. These are the moments when I feel like everything will work out with this crazy world. Without access to technology -depressing channel 2 news and horrific tales splaying across my yahoo news home page-I felt hope for humankind. Whether coming or going, from the North, the South, the East or the West, we intersect at good and bad. Some of us are bad, for whatever reason, but I have to say, more of us are good.
And I just hope that one day, whenever d-day comes, that will count for something………..