Yesterday evening after work, I got on the métro during rush hour and was unable to find a seat. Instead of sitting down to read my book as I usually do, I was forced to stand in a crowd of people near the back. The moment the doors of the métro closed and we pulled out of the station, I began studying the people around me. As my eyes bounced from person to person, I was suddenly struck by how beautiful everyone was. I felt as if my heart felt just burst open and I was able to finally see the beauty in the people around me. Not in a subjective way, but in a way that made me realize that our uniqueness is what makes us each beautiful.
While I was admiring people’s unique faces, I realized how each one had different shaped eyes, noses, and mouths as well as varying shades of hair and skin color. There was no one person who seemed more attractive than another. I quickly scanned each person’s face and thought to myself, “Wow, she’s beautiful. And so is the person next to her.”
That surge of joy I felt lasted for my entire commute. I was able to finally sit down, but I didn’t want to read. I wanted to keep looking at the people who got off and those who got on the train.
When I walked up the stairs and left the métro station, I admired my surroundings. I looked up at the trees with large green leaves, the gold dome of the Invalides, the Parisian apartment buildings, and the cars passing by. Even though I felt great appreciation for what I saw, I couldn’t help but keep thinking about all those different faces on the métro. What a gift, I realized, to be surrounded by so many people with different backgrounds, ethnicities, and lives.All of this diversity is what makes life so beautiful.
It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that the beauty I saw in each person was their uniqueness. But even though each one of us is unique, we also have similarities. And that is what filled me with joy: I was finally able to appreciate our similarities as well as our differences.
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