Life is so full of such incredible detail. So much so in fact, that our brains are conditioned to register, sift, and discard massive amounts of information on a daily basis without a conscious thought. This can be useful but something I think needs restricting, especially in this day and age with the onslaught of social media and excessive sharing.
We train ourselves every day, while skimming over the figurative surface of everyones perfect imaginary lives to take it all for face value, never considering what it would mean to delve deeper. This quirk is not solely a symptom of the advent of the internet, even though it has surely exacerbated the problem. No, I believe this behavior to be habitual in all of us.
There is a writing exercise that I picked up from a podcast in which the author being interviewed discusses how she had written a book comprised entirely of tiny, astute observations she had collected over the years by consciously observing the world around her. Not just her own life, but of all life and synergy of everyone around her.
Being actively, consciously, involved may not seem like an earth shattering revelation but I encourage you to try it. If you examine the detail and minuscule interactions of others day to day lives, you will be enthralled with what you find.
Stopping to look, really look at those around you is like viewing someone else’s life through a tiny little window that they forgot to shut the curtains on because they never really expected anyone to be paying attention in the first place.
Through it you can view the world from an entirely different perspective that you never even imagined existed. See nuances in the tiniest gesture, raw emotion on the most stoic face, and in the eyes of all you will see humanity. Intently striving for the next opportunity to be something… worthy.
You will see all of this and initially find yourself to be slightly ashamed. Had you glimpsed something no one else should have seen? Had you intruded on someones private existence?
But consider the alternative. Mindless skimming and never delving deeper than the surface of all their perfect imaginary lives. Wouldn’t that be a lonely world?
And in the brevity of the human existence you must not let the detail of your own odyssey escape your conscious mind. Take all that you hate, enjoy, and admire in this world and turn it into a masterpiece that others would be glad to be a part of, even if they are just glancing through a window.