For someone who loves to people watch, walking through an international airport is like the holy grail of locations. There are so many people in one place all going about different walks of life, and the only thing they have in common is that they all have a destination to get to. It's almost a humbling experience in a way. You see, you're walking, or sometimes running, through this big, usually unknown, place and all you can see in both directions are unknown faces. It can almost be a little bit overwhelming.
I see all of these faces. Some are filled with excitement to go on a new adventure. Some are longing for just one more day before they return home. Some are leaving an entire life behind to start a new one. Some seem to be filled with nostalgia. Others bear deep sorrow in their eyes. All of these faces and emotions are in one place at the same time. All of these faces mean nothing to me, but what do they mean to someone else? These faces are peoples mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons. They mean nothing to me, but everything to someone else.
I think that's the craziest part about this world we live in. There are over seven billion people on this planet, and yet we never even get to come close to scratching the surface of getting to know the word. It's an impossible feat. There are seven billion people out there. Everyone living their own individual lives. Seven billion people I will never meet. Although I may see some of the faces, I'll never get to know the stories. There are thousands of these seven billion people simply walking through the airport, and although I'll never know their stories, for a short moment we get to share something in common.
Everyone is getting ready to go somewhere.
Whether it's to go on the adventure of a lifetime or coming back from one, everyone has a destination just like me. That's the humbling part of this experience. While everyone is rushing through to get to wherever they may need to get to, for a short moment everyone has at least one thing in common. I think it puts the world in perspective for us. It can show us that even though we all come from different places, we are all just trying to get to a place that holds meaning to us in some aspect of our lives.
It reminds me that maybe we aren't so different after all. So the next time you're walking through an airport, take a second to people watch, and I'm not talking about the judgmental kind. Take the time to try to understand the path that they're on, whether it be by talking to someone or simply empathizing with them from afar.
To the man with the very long sad face, I don't know what you're going through but, at that moment, I felt as if I was walking through it with you. I hope you found something to make you smile. To the family eager to go on their next adventure, I hope it was everything you ever dreamed of, and to the group in the cowboy hats, I hope you enjoyed your time in Texas. Your hats made me smile. I enjoyed having something in common with you, if only for a short time.