“What do we any of us have but our illusions? And what do we ask of others but that we be allowed to keep them?” ― W. Somerset Maugham
I am an observer. I am enlightened, educated, and often entertained by people watching. I enjoy seeing what makes others tick.
The thing is a general impression upon observation is not the truth of the matter. You must know your subject or at least a good bit of his story for the pieces to fall into place.
Emotion is the driving force of action. People act or react due to love, anger, guilt, fear, jealousy, greed, and so on. Sentiments leading the deed are indicative of motive…and those of us in the audience often make guesses. I don’t suppose it makes us right or wrong, just human. We are born to reason and thus empowered to opinion. The question arises whether voicing said opinion without firsthand knowledge of the situation is helpful or hurtful.
The amazing thing about people watching is not what I find out about them but what I learn of myself. Do I agree with their position? Do I try to sway their opinions? Am I tolerant of their beliefs or actions? Do I feel myself getting angry or fearful? Am I touched by their attitudes?
Have you ever witnessed people bully, belittle, or boss others to do things their way or agree with them? We pride ourselves with our uniqueness, how we look and act differently, yet we are appalled when others think differently than ourselves. We fear their beliefs and reduce their opinions. Perhaps this is done in our own need of validation.
I am a sky watcher. I no more tell the clouds how to behave than I direct the shining of the stars. I simply observe, enjoy or annoy as it depends on the weather, and learn what I can. I prefer to do the same with people.