Sitting on a cold bench one morning while waiting for the bus, I’m able to catch a glimpse into other people’s lives.

It’s rare, moments like these. So, I try not to waste them. I store my phone in my pocket and keep it there. I put all other thoughts out of my head and just look at the world around me. A silent observer.

There’s a lot you can learn from other people, don’t you think? So when you have an opportunity to glance into other people’s lives without harm, you should take it. Some call this “people-watching.” Apparently it’s a hobby. Well, it’s not really a hobby for me, it’s just something I do because I think I should do it.

Today I see an elderly woman walking around the block. Her name is Akiko. Or at least that’s the name she gave me. She goes for a walk every morning. She’s always alone, and today is no different. As she walks she waves hello to everyone she sees, and calls out their names. As she passes the bus stop she looks at me and smiles. “Good morning, Haku,” she says.

“Good morning,” I say. “Take care.”

Akiko teaches me this hobby called “people-watching.” She teaches me to value all human connections. She also teaches me to go out and live life every day. Really, the list of things I can learn from her is endless. And all we’ve ever said to each other is “good morning.”

A few minutes after Akiko passes by, I watch as two children cross the street. They’re siblings – a seven year old girl and a four year old boy. The little boy is scared of crossing streets, so every time his older sister will hold his hand. I’ve seen them before. They walk to school every weekday, and if I happen to be waiting at this bus stop around the right time, I’ll see them holding hands, crossing the street.

The older sister teaches me how to give and show love. The little boy teaches me to live honestly. We’ve never talked, and they’re a lot younger than me, but there are still things I can learn from them. There’s a lot you can learn from children, surprisingly.

I guess that’s a good thing. We should all pay more attention to the children.

Take advantage of moments like these, moments like when you’re waiting for the bus or taking a walk. It’s important. Open your heart and you’ll see that there’s a lot to learn.

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