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People watching is such an art. It takes discipline and practice. If you aren’t careful you might miss something good…or you could scare people away.

In one people-watching day recently I saw a little boy captivated with a butterfly, which inspired me to be captivated by a little boy watching a butterfly. I saw a man driving a car I’m told was priced at $180,000 and another man begging for food…on the same street. I saw a baby look at her daddy with wonder as she gently touched his nose and a teenager look at her daddy with disgust as her emotions spoke against his suggestions. What contrasts of life I might have missed had I not been looking!

When I see people living the normal and abnormal parts of life, I’m reminded how much God loves them and me and I’m encouraged to share His love even more. People inspire me to do what God has called me to do.

Life is interesting if we take the time to watch.

Are you a people watcher?

What are you seeing as you people watch these days?

Where is the best place to people watch?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 16 Comments

  • Lori says:

    I love people watching. In fact one of my favorite things to do is watch at the airport as loved ones arrive. To see the different expressions, different emotions, etc.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Airports are starting to create better spaces for waiting and watching again. Reunions between people who love each other…who doesn\’t want to see that. Thanks

  • @drewdsnider says:

    There's a place in Vancouver that's great for watching — in a different way. Pigeon Park, right outside our Mission, is a meeting place for the "street people" – crack addicts, prostitutes, drunks: they come from so many different backgrounds, and all have stories. It makes me think of Jacob's Well – which I realized when it hit me that Skid Row is our own "Samaria" – shunned and reviled by the "good people" of the city. You can be guaranteed to meet someone at Pigeon Park – which I imagine was in the back of Jesus' mind when He went out of His way to stop at the well.

  • Kevin Riner says:

    I love to people watch. But I always keep in the back of my mind that other people like to people watch too so they may be watching me.

  • Laurinda says:

    I work for an airline so I must agree with Mike that airports are a great place to people watch. I enjoy watching people. Makes me wonder if God gets a kick out of watching all of us.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Thanks Laurinda. I spend a lot of time in airports it seems and have fun with people watching! Somehow I think God likes watching us as much as we like watching our children!

  • Renee Garcia says:

    Disneyland! For sure! Before Frank and I had kids we had season passes (we had them after kids, too but one Kassidy started walking there was no time to people watch!) and we loved to get an ice cream cone or something, sit on a bench and just watch people… parents screaming at kids… kids screaming at parents… babies crying from exhaustion… Happiest place on earth?! HA! Of course we did see lots of happy people too but it made for some interesting conversations about how we would "Do" Disney when we had kids. And let me tell you, we did it right… Every Sunday as the kids got older, it was church, lunch, then a couple hours at Disneyland, then home before the crankiness set in. We may have only got in one parade, 2 rides or a couple characters, but there was always the promise of next week and therefore no angry children. I was thankful to all those kids with meltdowns that we watched in previous years. For us, it WAS the Happiest Place on Earth! 🙂

  • kristerdunn says:

    My wife and I joke that I come from a long line of staring people! Love people watching! Airport was the first thing to come to mind as mentioned by Mike. Auctions of any sort (I used to buy/sell cars. Auto auctions are a RIOT!) The.State.Fair. Any state. Seriously. Where there are carnival rides, there are…carnies. There's tons of others but how about the church parking lot. You see all sorts of stuff as people try to collect themselves on the way in…

    • ronedmondson says:

      Ha! Thanks! I didn't say staring…I'm a much more subtle watcher than that…but hey…whatever works! Thanks for tagging in the discussion…

      • kristerdunn says:

        hahaha… I knew exactly what you meant. It's just that I'm the one in the family most interested in people watching. Since not everyone shares the fascination it gets dubbed…and teased…as staring at everyone. (I should have clarified.) As you point out though, the contrasts that can be seen are truly incredible.

  • Mike Sansone says:

    People watching has so many great lessons and inspirations. Airports and bookstores are among my favorite places to watch people have "conversations" with their world. Fantastic reminder to be aware of others (and glean).

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