It’s easy to forget that other people have pasts, too. We get really wrapped up in our own problems, our own histories, even our own joys. So much so that we fail to see that strangers have memories.
The fellow who cut you off at that intersection might have a mother in the hospital with terminal cancer. Every Christmas Eve, he and his mother would bake cookies and eat half of them before they were even baked, and leave the rest for Santa. He danced with his sister every New Years at midnight. Now he’s going to meet his sister to sit and worry together in a waiting room.
That girl who wears all the nerd t-shirts and has really huge glasses used to spend the summers with her family in a log cabin near the Colorado mountains. That was before her dad got laid off, and now they’ve been moving where he’s been finding employment—only staying in one place for a year at a time. There hasn’t been time or money for family vacations in years. She wears the Star Trek t-shirt because she and her dad love to spend long nights watching old episodes of TNG.
The girl stuck in the detention center because of several misdemeanor charges has a loving policeman father who surprised her with a horse for her thirteenth birthday.
That waiter at the Mexican restaurant left Brazil to get an education in America.
You never know what memories people have. They are human too. No man is an island, and no man is a shell.