Here in Argentina there are wonderful things to see and do. Waiting in long lines is not one of these things. When I took my number at the post office, it read “72”. They were serving number 43. So I sighed and glanced upwards to heaven. From my perch, I observed:
A man who could not stop staring at every young woman that came into the post office. He looked each of them up and down several times. He was fidgety. I know this man. He has been in charge of youth groups and works for an NGO that helps the poor.
A woman wearing a revealing dress. I suppose she wanted everyone to see how great her tan was. (It’s summer down here).
An older disabled man. He held up the line for many long minutes.
A handsome young man, full of life and full of himself. He strutted around as if we should have applauded him.
A young woman lent the disabled man her pen. When her turn was done, she just left the post office and left her pen as a gift to the man.
A middle aged man who complained loudly about the heat and the weak air conditioning.
A pregnant woman smiling at her husband and young son who were waiting outside. Through the glass door she smiled and waved at them lovingly.
The post office worker, who despite the complaints, treated every single person with respect and a smile.
I saw kindness, vanity, lust, struggle, frustration and generosity during my wait. I reflected on my reactions to the actions and appearances of others.
Peeking into the lives of these people, what did I feel?
Did I feel mercy?