“I’m looking for a world where love will no longer be extraordinary.” – Patch Adams
hen I used to commute to school, I spent a lot of time waiting for trains at the Munich central station. I always had a book with me, or some other form of distraction, to keep myself entertained.
Sometimes, however, I just sat there and watched the people around me.
Munich central station is a huge place, and it is needless to say that hundreds and hundreds of people frequent it every day. I used to (and still do) love imagining how many ‘coincidences’ had brought us all into each other’s lives in that particular moment, as we stood waiting at the platform.
As I looked at all these people, I started playing a little game with myself. The game had two rules:
- I had to find one thing I liked about every person I looked at
- Even if there was nothing, I had to look until I could find something
Sometimes what I liked was a handbag, a haircut, a smile, or a certain colour someone was wearing. Other times, I admired the courage someone was demonstrating by dressing radically different, or the openness with which someone responded to my gaze and smiled back at me.
It could be something I loved about their body, their clothes, or the way they behaved in this weird situation; a situation in which hundreds of people were crammed onto one narrow platform, trying not to look at or interact with anyone.
And, even if there was nothing I instantly liked about someone, I accepted the challenge of finding something anyway.
It has been nearly eight years since the first time I started playing this game, and I never thought that it would have such a big impact on me.