From The Storyteller
July 15, 2019, Appointment
“I’ve got a couple of hours until my doctor’s appointment. Do I start on that new paperwork or take a long coffee break?” Coffee break wins, and as I savor the smell I begin to wonder how my doctor is spending these hours. Two people leading totally different lives agree to meet on a Tuesday morning at 11:30 for a specific purpose (e.g. medical exam) and then agree to not see each other for another year (hopefully). Each of us living in their own separate parallel universes, completely unconnected until an appointment brings them together. There is no question in my mind, doing doctor stuff during the day looks much different than doing Doug stuff.
This where my people watching rule kicks in. The rule: You never get to ask. So with the rule in place I begin to imagine the doctor's world. She's at the bank doing the paper work to finance a new car. (Why not? They don’t do doctor stuff all the time.) The car, a blue Mini Cooper, is for her graduating daughter, who is headed to college. She is sitting right there, watching the papers being signed. There is a possibility my imagined story is true, but it’s probably not.
I consider the coffee break time well spent because, when I wonder about the lives of others, it helps to keep me honest in my dealings with folks. It’s a continuing reminder that I don’t know very much about other people’s lives. It makes me a better listener, and finding out about the lives of other people keeps the day interesting.
I don’t remember who said it first but the truth is “Every person you meet knows something you don’t. Pay attention, you might learn something.”
Moral: Coffee breaks are a great time for wondering.