A Day at the Mall
A Day at the Mall
By Dan Blankenship
© 2008 Dan Blankenship
I was at the mall today. I had things to buy, but for a time I just sat and watched the people in our local shopping mall. I wanted to play the role of quiet observer, just taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the human environment as it moved to and fro. It was an experiment I’ve read others have performed long before my effort. I tried not to let those studies influence my observations, for I wanted to be completely unbiased in explaining what I witnessed.
I watched as wayward teens made the mall grounds their personal Disneyland ®, acting as if each store was a new adventure ride and every member of the opposite sex, a life size cartoon character to be examined and commented on.
I soaked in the miracle of true love as I saw couples who could not get enough of staring into each others’ eyes as they walked by, completely unaware of the hundreds of advertisements that surrounded them. These passionate couples just wanted a place to walk with each other, and it seemed as though even if everyone else in the mall disappeared, these pairs would not take notice. And I discerned that some who passed by them seemed slightly jealous of such unfettered romance.
Then I made another observation: There were people who appeared to walk through the mall with no emotion on their faces. Some poor souls seemed to be going through the motions of life as if that was all there is – motions. These souls of discontent, disillusionment, and disgust expected little comfort from their day at the mall. They were there because necessity called. The moved forward because sleeping on the mall floor was not an option. I had no pity for these people, and they came in all shapes and all sizes, all ages, and all nationalities. I couldn’t help but wonder why the spark had gone out of them, for even in the worst of times, I have always had a little flame left to burn – a little more to give.
Then I noticed and observed the people I couldn’t read, the people who had joy and happiness and wonderment, and I could not tell why. These bubbly, glowing, and insanely intense people had no specifically designed outward message to interpret. They laughed hard, adored interaction with others in the mall, and had a kind word for everyone they met. It was as if the NOW factor had taken hold of these people; they were alive here and now and they could influence others in a positive way here and now. They could only live life to the fullest today.
I counted 25 different kinds of people in the mall today. Only one group impressed me beyond measure. It was the NOW group. Some individuals understand that we only get one chance to make a difference in the world. That one chance is our lifetime, no matter how short or long; and that one chance can make the world a better place.
Are you living your lifetime with the purpose of the NOW people? Are you doing the miraculous every time you get the chance to do so? Life gives us so many opportunities to help others in their daily struggles. Take advantage of that. Live for that! We can make the world a better place when we understand that suffering and tragedy are defeated by human rescuers dedicated to action.
I learned a lot in my one day observance at the mall. But most of all, I learned that the doers keep this world spinning in the right direction. Do not live your life being tossed around by sociological norms and revolutions, but be vigilant for the opportunities in life to truly help others overcome daily trials and long term tribulations.
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