Some of my most favorite comedians such as Ellen DeGeneres, Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld and the late Bill Hicks all share the ability to translate their awareness of the world around them so that they can connect with us to let us know they saw and/or experienced the same thing that we had (and here all along we thought it was a secret!).
Often times the way that I learn something about myself is to first notice it outside of myself, in someone else, first. I used to get extremely embarrassed for someone in public (or even on television) when they embarrassed themselves because I thought I understood completely how they must have felt. I’ve also loathed someone to the point of sending out black poisonous thoughts because of how they treated other people. A political head figure is a good example of that. Some of the questions I can ask myself when someone really irks me, is what is it about them that reminds me of me? And of course, there is always the ability to laugh at ourselves when we see the funny actions of someone else and we “relate” completely. This morning I went to the coffee shop to get my large decaf Americano and so I had some time to watch other people retrieving their multi-layered multi-flavored drinks and to notice how they handled themselves as their name was called out for their drink. Especially if the drink they ordered had multiple levels of requests (non-fat, chocolate, large, one sweet and low, room for cream, etc.). Some of the people’s faces looked like the Barrister had just shouted out loud and in details, what underwear they had on that day. The customer would run up to retrieve their coffee very fast to nip that announcement right in the bud before further damage could be made. Then there is the whole action of the person taking their multi-level, multi-choice coffee frothy drink over to the counter with all the creams, sugars, milks and sweeteners. Some people, especially the ones that had the multiple requests as mentioned previously, have this tip-toe dance that they do as they walk over to the counter. I observed this one man do the “I’m-so-excited-to-be-putting-more-cream-and-more-sugar-into-my-drink-however-it’s-really-not-that-important-to-me” pose. This pose is recognized by the sideways turn they do as they move up to the counter so that their hip is between them and the cream. Ideally, though many men contain themselves, one of their feet is lifted off the ground or at least the heel is lifted up. Acting non-chalantly, they quickly remove the lid from their coffee and whisk the sweetener and cream into their cup as if they were in the midst of conducting a mini-orchestra. Their eyebrows are usually lifting up their forehead and their eyes seem pensive as if they are so lost in thought about the business or world problems of the day and that OF COURSE! making sure that they get the perfect amount of sugar and cream into their drink is the furthest thing from their minds at that moment. This way if the “diet” police were watching, or the “what-the-hell-do-you-think-you’re-doing-buying-such-a-coffee” police were watching, they could plead “not that interested in the coffee, just putting sugar into my cup thank you. What did I learn from this coffee observation? That I don’t know if these people feel this way at all, but they sure do “dance” to the thoughts in my head so that it seems like they do! If nothing else they’ve provided me with an opportunity to laugh a bit at myself! I don’t put cream in my coffee nor sugar anymore, but I sure have in the past and lots of it! Notice the world around you and what’s going on, there is really all kinds of entertainment at our fingertips if we’ll just slow down and pay attention!