Observational Skills

I spent my lunch break with my 11-month old nephew. He spent the time staring out of the window, out onto the street below. He’s fascinated by world outside, a world that is, at the moment, just out of reach. As he pressed his little forehead against the glass, perhaps to get a better view, I decided to join him. It was fun to point out the various creatures we saw within a few feet of the house; a cat scavenging for scraps, a bird in a neighbouring tree. We even saw a frighteningly large dog, and I think we were both glad we were on the inside; instead of facing the animal down on the street!

In honour of the experience, here’s a little poem to sum it up:

Look at these creatures
Underneath my window
Near and yet so far away
Cats and dogs
Here and then gone

Birds sharing their song
Roaming the sky
Enjoying the view –
Aunty, why don’t you
Kneel and come see too

Many of us enjoy ‘people watching’. I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about it until I sat with my father in a hospital waiting room, and he told me about his joy of observing people.  He often wondered about their lives, their contentment, fears and disappointments. It was a surprise to me. Not that he was interested in people, he was a very considerate man. But because, for a man of few words, he came alive when he talked about the hobby. I enjoyed listening to him; allowing his imagination to roam free, and realising that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

I’m a people watcher too, but I don’t really look and wonder about their lives, I observe in a more subtle way. I do it without realising; observing how people behave in certain situations, how they react to stress, what they say to one another. Not only the words; I look at their body language and facial expression. Perhaps that’s part of being a good communicator, but it could be the fact that my second language is a visual one (British Sign Language).

Those observations form part of the characters I create. You could say writing things down is my way of imagining what goes on in other people’s lives!

Thanks, as always for reading.

Until next time




Reading your post reminded me of this youtube video about empathy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDDWvj_q-o8&feature=youtu.be. Thanks for sharing.

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