The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Sitting outside, watching people pass by with their mental turmoil, ice creams, and friendly faces is one of my favorite activities. It’s a personal hobby that doesn’t involve any real work — just creative thinking. People-watching allows me to just sit back and watch while others go on with their sonder.
People watching gives us the ability to see the simple beauties.
People watching has taught me so many great things such as helping me realize how people’s interactions have such a powerful impact on energy throughout the world. I like to think that everyone’s actions influence another person’s actions, causing a ripple effect around the world. For example, in the city I once saw someone sitting on the park bench with a depressed look on their face, going through the motions of what might have been a very long day. As they sat there, staring off into the distance, two little kids came by with their guardian, laughing and blowing bubbles into the sky. I don’t know what the person on the bench thought of, but after seeing the little kids, they took a deep breath and smiled. And then they made a phone call.
Now, that phone call could have led to them forgiving another person for something that they did or it could have led to them realizing they needed to let something or someone go. That’s why people-watching is so beautiful; with one scene, your mind can create so many different storylines.
Not only is people-watching a great relaxation hobby and fun, but it can also help you figure out new things to do. For example, I was really terrible at trying new things because I was constantly worried about how people would see me. But when I went to New York, I saw a beautiful elderly lady with her hair dyed dark blue. She told me that I should go for a bit of color because it would make me look mysterious and it would feel good. And because of her, the next chance I got, I got blue braids. And trust me, I had a lot of wild experiences with my blue hair. I think watching people gives me the confidence to do new things because seeing other people do it gives me a lot more bravery to do it myself.
I think that people watching needs to be incorporated into more people’s lives. People tend to forget to sit back and breathe in the air rather than constantly be on the move. Even while you are walking from your car to your home, think about how many times you stared up at the night sky and remarked on the fact that it resembles a smooth river rock, rather than complain about not seeing any stars. Or how many times have you looked at the park and acknowledged the single flower standing by itself, surrounded by towering trees?
I think sometimes people need to sing “the praises of things we ignore.” In the remarkable play and movie, In The Heights, there is a song called “Alabanza” which reflects how a woman would be saying grace to the little things in the world. She cared for the bread crumbs and the simple smile on her family’s face; she cared for all the little things that were a part of the one we live in now.
I think sometimes people need to sing “the praises of things we ignore.”
People watching gives us the ability to see the simple beauties. There are so many little things your eyes don’t gaze over when you are participating rather than observing. So, next time you take a walk to class or grab something from your room, take a look around. Because the sad truth is one day, it will all be gone and that’s when you’ll start to miss it.