When I am not bird-watching, I like to watch people. Strangers, in particular. I am captivated by their nonverbal behavior. Gestures such as shoulder shrugs, head nods, and hand movements are significant parts of human interactions. They are our inner whistle-blowers that leak out top-secret information about our personalities. Tell the world who we really are, as opposed to the type of person that we aspire to be.
No matter how restless or torn we may be, our actions are always fluid. They seem like a natural extension of our characters; as though they begin where our script ends. They start when words fail us. Or when we fail them.
Listening to people, though, is not nearly as faascinating. All many do is share the messy details of their lives. And it is the same badly-edited story ad nauseam. Everyone is a victim and a survivor. They faced social alienation. Dealt with parental pressure and economic hardships. Overcame drug abuse, smoking, alcoholism, junk food and bad relationships. Moved past broken promises. Suffered. Survived. Rinse and repeat.
I believe in the power of positive thinking. But I can see how some people find it nauseous when they are asked to emulate others and just be more positive. And why thinking happy thoughts can make us look like cows – their udders tickled by the sun.
I used to be a negative person. I smirked every time something went wrong. It gave credibility to tragic perspectives. And then came this burst of positive energy. Along with it – a love for the world like I hadn’t felt before. I had a dramatic change of mind. At least I thought I did.
Except those closest to me swear that I hadn’t changed one bit. And I am just as angry and cynical as I was.