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People Watching
by Edwina Cowgill
07/19/08
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PEOPLE WATCHING

It is fascinating to watch other people. To observe what they do, listen to what they say and try to imagine what they’re thinking or why they are behaving a certain way.

People are expected to behave in a certain manner at different events. At church, adults are expected to conform to the rituals – stand when the program says to do so, sit when told, be quiet during the sermon, sing during the songs. And parents or Children’s Church teachers attempt to teach the children to conform to the behaviors expected for church.

At sports events, it is, obviously, a totally different atmosphere. The crowds are excited – some who have partaken of their favorite liquid beverage are more excited than others. The behavior is certainly more raucous than at church. Everyone is screaming for their favorite team, encouraging them on to victory. (One wonders what church would be like if that much enthusiasm were put into praising and worshiping God!)

But at either of these events one can observe others closely and will see the person who has pain in their eyes, or loneliness in the middle of hundreds of people, or anger even in the midst of peace in a church service. Perhaps the pain is due to the breakup of a marriage or significant relationship. Maybe it’s financial problems, job worries, cares for children or older parents. Some people were wounded in their past, even as young children, and everything they do or say is filtered through that pain.

There are those who do seem to have it all together. The right look, the right outfit, the politically correct and acceptable behavior.

But do they? One wonders.


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