Miscellaneous

Fleeting moments of humanity

Does anyone else ever get that warm, fuzzy feeling inside when you hear or see someone they consider superior to you caught up in an incredibly, down-to-earth, human moment?

It has to be one of the loveliest – yet most inexplicable – feelings ever.

I used to have moments like that when I was at school and would overhear conversations between teachers, but I had forgotten how it feels until a couple of days ago, when I was at the doctors’ surgery.

I went for an open access appointment on Wednesday morning, and couldn’t see my usual doctor as she wasn’t available. I was sitting in the waiting room, with afore-mentioned doctor’s door wide open while she caught up on work and made some phone calls. One of these phone calls was to somebody – a landlord, I would assume, although perhaps not seeing as I don’t know why someone with as high a salary as a GP would rent rather than buy – about how her flat was flooded, and how her bedroom was filled with water but wasn’t sure where it was coming from, nor what was happening with regards to plumbers.

And I know, looking back on it, it seems like the most banal thing in the world, but hearing a little snippet of her life, filled with nervous laughter and punctuated by stumbled words, made me feel oddly warm inside. It’s not so much empathy, but something of that ilk that I’m sure there is a word for, in some language, somewhere. There is something so beautiful about catching someone going about their everyday business and showing their vulnerabilities which just delights me – I can fall in love with a person just by watching them do silly, little everyday things. Not necessarily romantically – I mean, I have no romantic feelings towards my doctor whatsoever – but just in a way that makes me want to get to know them, to find out why they do the things they do. Maybe that’s why I love people-watching so much.

Does anyone else ever feel like this? It’s completely inexplicable but just so simple and full of pure beauty. I wish there was a word for it. Maybe there is, in German or something. The Germans have a word for everything.

You know, we’re a pretty fascinating species, when you think about it.

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