Invisible People

 

Have you ever walked into a crowded room and felt as if no one was aware of you? It is almost as if you are invisible.  Well that happens to me with some regularity although it is usually at a busy street intersection with many, many cars whizzing by. Am I a wee bit nervous? Yes.  Now to state a few pertinent facts.  The intersection in question has a ‘walk’ symbol that is very clear to both drivers and pedestrians.  The roadway is not visually blocked in any way.  Physically I stand about 5’5”, sitting in a wheelchair I am sure I am more than 4’ high.  While my particular wheelchair is not the largest on the market it is still quite substantial.  And yet, I have been narrowly missed by cars far too many times.  Why?  One theory (my own in fact) is that I have joined the ranks of the Invisible People.  Who are these transparent travelers, these wraithlike wanderers? Basically they are anyone who works or moves in virtual anonymity.  They are there but we don’t see or acknowledge them.  It happens a hundred times a day. People lead busy lives, they don’t have the time or the energy to see or respond to the dozens if not hundreds of people they come into contact with.  There is the guy who took your ticket on the subway, the kid who gave you your coffee and bagel, the cleaning staff at your office, the list is endless.  Some people make the effort to acknowledge these people, but most do not. That is sad.  Every single person you come into contact with in your busy life is a man or a woman that is important.  The woman who brings your mail promptly every day, the guy who keeps your streets clean, the individual who changes the burnt out bulb in your local street light.  These people are around, sometimes in our sight lines, sometimes not, but they are there.  The next time you see someone watering the plants on the boulevard, say hi!  Maybe it will become a trend and we will finally really see each other.  Maybe next time they will see me in the intersection.

 

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