Friday, July 27, 2007

Juxtaposition

It isn't every day that one sees a group of Amish people walking down Huron, or anywhere else in Chicago for that matter. I had to fight off the urge to stare at them.

Staring definitely is perceived as a negative thing. One doesn't want to be caught staring at someone else. It's considered rude. I know that when I'm looking at a stranger, say on the train, and they make eye contact with me I quickly look away. This is a common occurence in urban life.

But why is staring rude? I understand that it makes people uncomfortable. It's made me feel uncomfortable. And it can feel threatening. But at the same time, how are we to learn about people, about human nature, about people who are different from oneself, if we are afraid to be caught looking at them?

I see all kinds of interesting people every day. I like looking at people. Perhaps it's the social psychologist in me. I like just enjoy observing people. Some day that's probably going to get me in trouble.

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