It’s another overwhelmingly beautiful day. I sit on this park bench soaking in the sunshine and positive atmosphere around me. The sun reflects off of the ripples in the water surrounding the castle as ducks and other birds effortlessly float along with the breeze. Some of the birds fly in circles after one another as if they are playing tag and I wish for just one moment I could see the world through such carefree eyes. People come and go and I wonder to myself where it is they are headed to. That’s one of my biggest problems, I believe; I’m always so consumed by wondering what goes on in the lives of others.
It’s not as though I do this to poke fun or even on purpose, for that matter. I’ve just truly always been intrigued by people in general. What makes them happy? Do they have someone to share such beautiful moments as these with? Do they silently suffer in a way that no one would ever know because to the outside world, we only see what lies on the surface? I’ve always wanted to sit on a bench such as this and have someone open their thoughts and soul to me because it’s been concealed for so long that it’s beginning to bust out of the seams. Unfortunately, the only people who truly do this are usually slightly delusional and I’m left creeped out instead of satisfied.
Still, though, in those cases I sit and listen because I’m sure those people have tried talking to many others before me and I am too kind of a person to just simply ignore them or walk away. Another one of my characteristics I’m not sure many other people understand or appreciate. My kindness tends to land me more criticism than it does praise because I assume people either think such a trait implies weakness or that I am fake, neither of which are true.
I can’t help but to be nice to everyone I meet; unless, however, I encounter them initially in a negative way. I know when to stand up for myself when someone attempts to push me around or is just flat out being rude to me; I am not spineless. Maybe I’m so kind to people because I know what it’s like to feel alone, or that you are not liked. Maybe I want people to look at me as the reason they didn’t give up, and I certainly don’t want to be the reason why someone does give up. One unkind thing done or said can be the one thing that pushes someone over the edge and I would much rather be the hand that pulls them back in than the one pushing them.
But as I sit on this bench and my eyes wander from one person to the next, I can’t help but to think initially that everyone has their shit together. I instantly assume each person is free from many trivial things and their life is more blessed than mine. I suppose this is better than assuming I am better than everyone. However, I know that my initial impression of each person is probably far from accurate. For all I know, the old man lying shirtless on his blanket, seemingly loving life to the fullest in the simplest of ways could feel completely alone and only finds solace in the warmth of a sunny day. The two teenage girls sitting on the grass enjoying their ice cream cones and each other’s company could be victims of bullying and struggle to find hope or acceptance in this world. The couple on the bench below me nuzzling into each other’s arms and laughing could have a truly awful relationship and are trying to make up for last night’s fight. The child running and screaming in laughter while his parents sit and watch could be victim to his father’s forceful hand and short temper. All of this wondering makes me want to give them all a hug even if they all truly do have happy lives.
I honestly hope all of these people are filled with the happiness and joy they are portraying to an onlooker such as myself, at least for today. I truly wish for each person I meet or see to be free from the negativity this world is filled with. I see a young brother and sister running in circles, crooked smiles spread across their faces while their dad holds their hands and gives them bread to feed the birds, and I can’t help but to smile, too, at their enjoyment. Despite all the possibility of there being truly awful things happening behind closed doors, I am hopeful and pray that each of these people I encounter for only a second have a truly blessed life. So instead, I will sit and smile and be thankful I, too, am alive.