I had to work remotely from a Starbucks today. I had gotten into an accident on Christmas and today when I took the car into the shop, I found out the rental place had a booboo with my rental and it wouldn't be available for a few hours. So away to Starbucks I went till I had to pick it up.
When I first got there, I sat people watching. No, I wasn't trying to be a creeper, I just have always enjoyed people watching. I saw a table of 6 people sitting having a work conference completely in sign language. There were outwardly transgender, gay, and total hipster baristas, a male nurse, several older business men, two construction workers and myself.
The construction worker was sitting behind me and when he sat down, let a huge sigh out. Being the person I am, I turned to him and said, "It's too early in the morning for a sigh that big". We got to talking and I found out that on any given day, he works different 4 jobs in various parts of Colorado from downtown Denver up to Blackhawk and sometimes further. He does this so he can provide a better life for his family.
My conversation with him made me consider my own responsibilities. I am a project manager for an IT Company working on a worldwide software project, I run a bakery, I'm a full time graduate school student, I'm planning a wedding, and I maintain my house (with all it's own difficulties).
Everyone has a lot on their plate at any given time. For the sign language speakers, it may be trying to run a business in a world that for the most part doesn't understand them. For the LGBTQ baristas, it may be trying to be considered and treated equal among the rest of the world. For the male nurse, it may be was trying to combat stereotypes.
In sitting in Starbucks this morning, I realized 2 things:
1. That in that one space, for that time I was there, some people were living in their best version of reality. No one was judging anyone else, no one was rude, everyone was simply doing their own thing in their own space.
2. Everyone has their own challenges and obstacles they're trying to overcome and they're doing a great job at battling them even if it doesn't always seem like it.
So in short be respectful of others because we don't know what their circumstances are. If anything, try to get to know the person next to you. Learn from and about them even if that's the only time you'll see them. It'll make you appreciate the things that you go through in trying to accomplish your goals.