It doesn’t matter who you are professionally, where you live or what you do. Everyone needs life. Not so much just to have “life experience,” but to have an understanding of that which is varied and different. As someone who lived internationally, and as a writer, I’ve come to treasure learning.
I’m an introvert. I hate crowds and having to interact with lots of people on a shallow level. However, after three months in a coffee shop, front end, I realized that every person who walks through the door has a story. Some people tell parts of their story in their dress, bearing, or physical marks. Others you can only tell by their eyes, that speak of sorrows or joys you do not know.
Judging men is a dangerous business. The hardest face hides quirks, humor, and generosity. The people you personally know may ignore the face-less server behind the counter. Men may tip when their wives are watching them, but never tip when they enter alone. All of these things are part of human behavior, part of life and identifying people that I did not realize where there till I stood in that job.
As an introverted writer, at a desk job for two years writing, it’s a challenge to realize you’ve missed this side of life. The side that tells you something about the character of people, without ever having to get to know them. Is generosity a fault? Usually not, but you show whether you carry it or not by how you treat those who serve you, and they read it just as easily.
Necessity of Life
If you live in the city, you may not see life in the same way as someone who lived on a farm. I grew up on a farm, for over fifteen years. Doing this, you learn that if there is life there will also be death. On a farm, you love and you lose, and you learn to recognize pain in the eyes of the animals you tend. It is a pain that the eyes of men also reflect, the pain of the heart or soul.
I will not compare men to goats, that would be silly (or awkward). But, to work with people you have to be able to read them. Humans are rarely an open book, most are closed. Most humans show what they want you to read, but a good writer, a good minister, a good counselor, reads more than the person shows.
Can you write life without living?
Can you help if you do not recognize hidden and veiled pain?
You can try, but the best teacher is nearly always going to be experience.
Find something different, something that you’ve never done. It can be running a table at a craft show (even if just for an hour, to help a friend). Going hiking, going out to a type of restaurant or place you haven’t yet been. But, do something with someone who makes you feel comfortable, that is outside your comfort zone. I won’t say get the type of job that makes you panic (though that could be fun), but expand your experiences in a safe manner. Live and see what happens, but with wisdom so your fears will have no grounds to be born out.
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