Life goes by way too fast..
Sometimes so fast that we don't stop to engage the small things that scrape across our visual landscape. Some people thrive in the paradigm of ignorance being bliss. I for one do not. I try to take note of the small things that I encounter, I do so to enrich my personal experiences, the small ones on a daily basis.
It's the complex dynamic of humanity and the nature it contains than can in-rich your life experience. It gives you a broadened perspective by which you can understand more, relate more and appreciate small things like compassion at a whole new level.
In this case, I was on a business trip. A last minute request by a client of my marketing firm that required me to change my schedule abruptly and drive to Flagstaff for an emergency meeting. Many people would treat this event like a standard requirement of business. In my case, I grabbed my camera, my goal is to make every event a potential memory worth sharing. After my meeting I saw an old barn, a stop worth capturing. I saw another old building. Yes another stop worth capturing. At this point, I felt my day had enough added value, photos I could share with the world.
The weather began to change, hail and rain started its ascension on the beautiful city of Flagstaff. It was time for me to head back to the Valley. I stopped for gas on my way home. And, as usual I began to survey my surroundings and yes my camera was within quick reach.
What I saw.
I saw a man sitting outside in the midsts of weather that was not welcoming. I saw a man who's attention was lost in thought, he was't concerned with the external cold weather stimulus that had began to surround him. I saw a man who was not concerned with sociable norms at it relates to attire. I noticed the use of accessories for purpose not posture. I noticed a grievous and hopeless expression on the man's face that spoke volumes as to his current mental state. I saw a man who's life journey had placed him in a depressed and unmanageable state.
I saw a man who for reason's unknown to me, has ventured into a social label that is often despised by the social majority. I saw a man with regret. I saw a man without hope, I saw a man who has given up dreams. I saw a man who desperately needed to be loved at some point in his life and even more so today. I saw a man I had pity for, I saw a man who has a life I would never wish for. I saw a man who reflects on the outside what many of us feel on the inside.
I saw a man. A real man. A broken man. But, I only saw what was on the outside, assumptions with a probable level of accuracy to which the validity I may never know. What I do know is that showing him kindness and grace not only benefits him temporarily. It is a mutual expression that gives me a sense of compassion and grounding in thanksgiving. A realization of appreciation in the things I may take for granted. The small things I don't value and the the stimuli not worth becoming angry about.
I saw a glimpse of what makes life worth living, relationships worth nurturing, forgiveness worth asking for and failures by others, not worth keeping.