Pondering People


Sometimes I wonder about people.

Most of the time I wonder about specific people – people I know well, know of, or would like to know better. More often than not, I wonder about strangers. About all of us. Humanity as a whole. Because, no matter how hard we work at differentiating ourselves from the pack, no matter how loudly we shout our individuality from the rooftop, no matter how bright a peacock feather we wear in public…we’re all, simply, people.

Which is why, I wonder about people. A lot.

Why do we all do what we do. Why do we follow the crowd, enjoy the comfort of daily rituals yet exalt in moments of madness and off-the-beaten-trackedness…? People are intriguing. Really, we’re all wonder-full.

Now, don’t get me wrong in reading the above. I’m not trying to sound deep, existential, or even obtuse. The thing is, I’ve been taking public transport daily (for the first time in my life) which has given me a lot of time to think, to watch, to listen, and to truly take in the world around me. Bus life man, it’s a trip!

And it makes me wonder.

Especially about people.
About stereotypes.
About groups.
And, about what makes us all tick as individuals verses what makes us all tick as part of a larger mass of humanity.

In theory, we all have the same basic needs (food, shelter, water, safety, etc), but when you pull an individual apart from their “pack” you get a glimpse of individuality. And sometimes, while I sit pondering the human condition on the bus in rush-hour-traffic, I start to believe that individuality is all just smoke and mirrors. Is it? I don’t know.

Take me for example: a typical Californian living overseas trying to be atypical while carving out a small niche in the world in which I am set apart from others. Yet, no matter how hard I try to be “different” I’m always lumped into the “gregarious” or “bubbly” or “insert any other social norm here” group. I guess that’s because we only get to know people superficially for the most part.

In all reality, I’m the same as everyone else. No different from the guy next to me on the bus – well, a little different (I wonder what his story is? And I wonder if he wonders about mine.) So if we’re all the same – why do we all strive to be different?

I wonder.

People, we’re funny, funny creatures. Funny, wonder-full creatures.

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