I fool myself everyday by believing I am important. I feel the world revolves around me. But I forget. We are 7 billion people here. And that means we have 7 billion stories running everyday. 7 billion perspectives. Maybe more. Because when you and I meet, we create a new story. A story that is neither mine nor yours. It is ours. Yet you tell it differently from me. Two sides of a coin.
What brings me joy, might make you sad. A joke that you enjoy might offend me. Yet, we coexist. And pretend to like each other. Sometimes, we actually do like each other. Most times we coexist. Because there is no other way. 7 billion lives.
Everyday I cross the street near my apartment, I notice the homeless lady with her board. I wonder why she doesn’t go find a job.
Everyday the homeless lady watches me. I never give her a penny. I wonder what she thinks of me. We aren’t strangers. We watch other every day. We are a part of each others lives. Everyday our stories cross. Yet I know nothing about her and she knows nothing about me. We are strangers after all.
I see the same crowd in the train. Some days we smile. Most days we don’t. We wander around carrying the burdens of our lives. Nothing is ever right in our lives. We can’t afford to smile. There is no time. We have a train to catch, another place to be. We complain, we crib. A smile might make things better. A smile exchanged between you and me. But we have no time. We have another place to reach.
I meet the same kids each day as I wait for the elevator. Everyone is busy tapping endlessly onto their gadgets. Finding a friend in a digital world ignoring all the stories around. I can recognize watch one of them. Our paths cross. Yet we create no new story. We stare at our phones. Head always bowed we miss out on new friends. And stories we might have created if heads were lifted and smiles were exchanged. I wonder if they know me. I wonder if we have all turned into ghosts. Drifting around aimlessly. Our lives saved in a smartphone. We can’t detach from it. We can’t leave it behind. We drag it around everywhere we go.