There are so many simultaneous lives happening every moment.
On a day’s commute you pass by countless other people. Sometimes hundreds in rapid succession driving. Every so often you catch a brief glimpse of another’s moment, so much conveyed instantaneously in just a look.
Some smiling, some yelling at their dashboards, some staring off at nothing in particular besides road and monotonous destination. Pedestrians walking the city, people sitting at benches, sitting on their front steps, people mingling at street corners, so many people. A story behind each of their lives. A story in the midst of their lives. And a moving epilogue of a life’s long tragicomedy written in every expressionless expression.
We can’t ever know the full extent that others are fighting their battles. And there’s some background sense that nobody but the individual and perhaps a Higher Power can understand each discrete and authentic existence in effect. But I’m in one of those moods where I wonder what it would be to experience each life as it occurs, simultaneously, that I could fully empathize with each. And better understand. And how it would be, if only we could all better understand each other.
And it calls to mind a Steinbeck quote that perfectly encapsulates what I’ve felt sporadically every day of passing countless strangers.
“I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.”
I wish I could see them all.