Quiet Observer


Photo by Siddharth Bhogra on Unsplash.

So I’m at the library doing homework because there’s no Wi-Fi at home. I already finished what I needed to do, but I’m more intrigued by whats happening in front of me. There’s is a young Asian girl of about fifteen or sixteen years old sitting in the table across from me. She seems to be doing homework but from what I can observe she’s learning arithmetic. However, she’s not alone. She’s dependent on an elderly man who tutors her. She’s like a small child in her comprehension, and the old man sighs with exasperation at her childlike understanding, but I like to imagine that he feels useful to her.


There’s a complex story in front of me that I will probably never know about. Maybe an immigrant girl’s future, and a native old man of these Great States, who’s lived so much and willing to give to her that gift. The gift of inspiration and education. The gift of encouragement to take advantage of life and to make something of herself! A gift that many young people with the privilege take for granted today.

Who knows what will become of them both. Sometimes I feel like a quiet spectator given the opportunity to take a glimpse into the lives of strangers, or even of friends and family. I love to live, but I also take pleasure in observing– even if at times what I see is painful because I suffer in silence with them. But these small glimpses are the little golden nuggets of life that I treasure forever. Even if they don’t happen to me and I’m just sitting on the outside looking in…..

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