People-watching in the oddest of places

Airport terminals, train stations and bus/subway stops are always a good place to watch people.  Apparently I am not alone in enjoying this pastime, many of the bloggers whose stories I’ve read feel the same way.

Is it magical?  Sometimes?  Is it filled with people so wrapped up in their own drama they see nothing but obstacles? Usually.  By this I mean that they don’t see the people, only that there’s something between them and where they are trying to go.  All they see is the obstacle.  It could be a person, or it could be a trashcan.  It doesn’t matter, it’s in their way and that is what they notice, just enough (usually) to avoid collision.

That is very telling… how sad to live a live where you don’t take the time to notice what is around you.  How sad that you keep your head down and avoid acknowledging the other people around you.  If you would just look up, see the person you are sidestepping to avoid running into.  Take the chance.  Make eye contact.  What would it hurt?  What might you see?

I used to spend 45 minutes every morning waiting in a line for a bus to take me home after working the night shift.  I saw the hollow eyes of the people there, waiting for whatever it was they were waiting for.  Nobody looked up, nobody acknowledged anyone else.  All seemed trapped in a lonely hell of their own making.  Everyone seemed so sad, so lost, in pain; some looked ready to cry, many looked worried… some looked angry.  Nobody looked happy.

I decided to play a game.  I’ve played with energy since I was a little kid.  My brother and I would scoop up imaginary (I thought) energy out of the air and fashion a ball out of it and play catch with it.  It was our secret game.  I could feel the energy in my hands.  It was real.  Nobody else could, so we stopped talking about it pretty quickly.

I decided that these sad people in the bus terminal needed something to break them out of their doldrums.  I imagined myself with super powers, like I used to do as a child.  I would find someone and practice on them.  I would make people happy, somehow.  First, I had to get them to connect with the world around them.

My first test was to make someone look up.  I chose a man in his mid-forties as my guinea pig.  I had seen him in the terminal before.  He never varied his routine.  Walk in the front entrance and make a beeline to the news stand for a cup of coffee and a paper, then to one particular bench (or one close to it if someone took “his” spot).  He was always there in the mornings, and he *never* looked up until his bus was called.  He had his back to me, sitting in the terminal.  He was intently reading his newspaper, looking up only to take a sip of his coffee.

I closed my eyes and took a few slow deep breaths, then opened my eyes.  I stared at the back of his head.  “Look up,” I urged silently.  “Turn around, look at me, see me!”  After fifteen or twenty seconds, he glanced at the person on the bench to his right, a few seats away.  Encouraged by this, I started sending Love his way.  Not the romantic stuff, the Eros… the God-Love, the Agape.  He looked over his shoulder for a second, then back to his paper.  In the second I could see his face I saw he was uncomfortable, confused.  I stopped.  It wasn’t my intention to make anyone feel bad.  I imagined the entire bus terminal surrounded by God’s Love, held the intention for about a minute and then let it rest.  The experiment stopped, for the time being.

The next day, he was there again, but this time he didn’t follow his usual routine with his head down… he was searching the faces of the people around him, only for a second each.  He was looking to see if he could figure out who it was that had touched him.  I smiled, rather pleased with myself.  I grounded and centered again with the breathing technique, and once again sent this man some Love.  It’s a wonderful feeling, to feel loved.  It’s just as wonderful to feel the sending of Love.  This day, he finished his coffee, threw away his cup and meandered out onto the platform to wait the final five minutes for his bus.  He made eye contact with a few people, nodded to them as he passed, then took his place in the line next to mine.

The first time he looked at me, I smiled and my eye winked at him… I didn’t do it intentionally, it just happened.  He looked away and started to blush.  I was probably blushing a little, too, although I’m not usually one for blushing.  Eventually over the course of a few days, we began to speak, just a hello, long night, crazy weather type of conversation.  I never learned his name or any of his details, but it was so nice to make a connection of any kind.

There was a trickle-down effect to this, too.  Over the course of the few weeks of my experiment, other people started opening up to notice other people too.  Before long, everyone in the lines were talking to one another, sharing bits of homemade cookies or cakes that they had, sharing newspapers etc.

It made me realize that there was more to being here on this planet than just being in your own skin and watching others.  We all have a great power inside us, and it is meant to be shared.  Without sharing the Great Love we all hold in our hearts, we are doomed to remain isolated, alone and despairing.  By reaching out with no expectation of reward, just to share this energy, we form connections that make life worth living.  We all can do this.  Jesus told us that we all hold the power to perform miracles as he did and even more, if we would only believe.  There is *so* much good we can do in the world.  Next time you see a homeless person begging for money, rather than walking past and avoiding eye contact, do something different.  Make eye contact.  See him or her as a person who is down on their luck.  Feel some compassion for them.  Send them some Love.  If you don’t have money to spare or think it’s wrong to give money, that’s ok… just recognize that they, too, are a child of God and hold some compassion and respect for them.  Send out this Great Love whenever and wherever you can, any time you have the opportunity.  Interact or not on a physical level, but always send Good Energy.


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