People watching is a funny old thing and it’s one of my favourite things to do when I’m out and about. It can give you a real perspective on life.
It doesn’t matter where I go but I’m interested in watching people’s behaviour and it’s amusing to see the things you see, but in a way it’s quite depressing and humbling. You’ll soon realise, you’re not very special.
I’ve written before that I used to do door to door sales and I’d hear the same jokes, the same excuses and the same stories from house to house. There was nothing special about the people I was meeting. They were carbon copies of one another and none of them realised it.
In their own worlds, they’re the masters of everything and are unique. But in the wider picture which I was seeing, it’s like they’d been taken off a conveyor belt at birth along with their neighbours who all sounded the same as each other.
I could walk into any house and their lives were absolutely meaningless to me. I’d seen the same personalities down the road, or in another town, or in another county and it was really uninspiring. They may as well have been soulless robots.
Their lives were all the same with the same problems. They made me think that their roles in life are the extras and leave it to the main stars to shine. Their roles in life are just to fill the numbers up on the planet, as horrible as that sounds.
Part of me felt that I’m different. I’m a lot better than these people because they can’t see what I can see. It’s true, I am better than them and I’m different to most of the population due to my mindset…but am I really as different as I think I am or is there someone on another level above me who can see what I saw?
When I ultimately start hanging out with richer and more successful people than me, will I start seeing myself in other people and realise that the uniqueness I thought I had was in others too, just people who knew how to become rich and successful?
Food for thought, though I’m blissfully unaware of the answer at the moment so will bask in the glow of my own brilliance for now.
There’s an excellent scene in an episode of the Simpsons where Homer signs a form to try and win a car that a model is standing next to. As he fills in the form, he asks the girl “do you come with the car?”
The girl giggles and says “oh you” before Homer walks away.
The next guy comes along to fill in the form and asks the girl “do you come with the car?”
The girl giggles and says “oh you”.
It’s quite a sobering thought to think that everything you do has been done before unless you’re creating something really innovative that will change humanity.
When I’m people watching, I’ll see people act in the same way as people I’ve known in the past or other people I’ve seen out and about that day. In my office at work I’ll hear someone tell a joke I’ve heard a thousand times as if it’s the first time it’s ever been told, and the people respond to it like it’s the first time they’ve ever heard it.
You can get a lot of perspective on life by simply watching people. I’d encourage you to give it a go next time you’re at a restaurant alone, waiting for a train or whatever other situation allows you to do so.
You’ll see just how utterly dull and unimaginative the general population is.