Monday, May 04, 2009

The Passing Crowd

“The passing crowd” is a phrase coined in the spirit of indifference. Yet, to a man of what Plato calls “universal sympathies,” and even to the plain ordinary denizens of this world, what can be more interesting than “the passing crowd?”
Does not this tide of human beings, which we daily see passing along the ways of this world, consist of persons animated by the same spark of the divine essence, and partaking of the same high destinies with ourselves? Let us stand still but for a moment in the midst of this busy, and seemingly careless scene, and consider what they are or may be whom we see around us. In the hurry of the passing show, and of our own sensations, we see but a series of unknown faces; but this is no reason why we should regard them with indifference. Many of these persons, if we knew their histories, would rivet our admiration, by the ability, worth, benevolence, or piety, which they have displayed in their various paths through life. Many would excite our warmest interest by their sufferings – sufferings perhaps, borne meekly and well, and more for the sake of others than themselves. How many tales of human weal and woe, of glory and of humiliation, could be told by those beings, whom, in passing, we regard not!......

These, I humbly think, are reasons why we should not look with coldness upon any masses of men with whom it may be our lot to mingle."
When I read this piece it has certainly rung true in my experience. Regardless of the appearance, position, status, people all have a story, and all matter to God and so should matter to me. Shame on me for rushing through life negligent of these thoughts. The times when I have struck up conversations with strangers have nearly always been productive in some way, whether it be spiritual, humorous, or fascinating. Everyone has a story to tell.
Robert Chambers - Photo from the Internet


Mel said...

So many beautiful, unique individual people... Each with a whole lifetime of stories and experiences. I often think about it when I'm parked at a stop light. All the cars there at the same time, all the people in those cars, either as drivers or passengers, all converging in that same location at the exact same moment in history, and each to pass their own separate ways again in a matter of moments. It's humbling to be surrounded by such a vast sea of people, each with a story and a history as unique as the other. I love it. Great post!!

HAINAngel2000 said...

exactly!! I wish I could remember every conversation with some of the elderly. I used to surround myself with the elderly when I was younger because of loved to hear them talk about life, but not I wish I could have recorded it all. Now that I am older and with my own family I do not get to spend time with the elderly and miss them so much. My point is listening to stories of ones lives is true Fred. We all have a story, a testimony. I think God created us to share our testimony.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred:)

My first reaction to the heading-THE PASSING CROWD- was to think of MILLING CROWD.

As you are aware I live in a crowded city with all sorts of people. Some rich, some poor, some young, some middle aged and some old. I watch the crowds without any feeling as though they are some automatons or robots going some where in a hurry. I have never tried to analyze them the way you have done.

It is absolutely true some are fathers, some are mothers, some are starting their lives, some are trying to make both ends meet, some are under pressure, some are sad, some are happy, some have a purpose, some are loitering about etc. But all are human beings are created by Almighty God. Some are Christians, some are Muslims, some Hindus and some are atheists.

Like we wonder at an amazing sunset, or a vast ocean, or the beauty of a flower, we have to wonder at the might of God for making so many variety of people. No individual is replicated. Every one thinks differently, acts differently under a given circumstance, has different values etc.

We have to pause and wonder at THE PASSING CROWD. We have to admire the beauty of God and HIS inscrutable ways and worship HIM with all our might.

This is a great post.

Have a nice day Fred:)

FCB said...

Hi Mel,
They are beautiful and unique aren't they? When I take the time to personalize them and engage them. To often I am thinking rather about being first off the line at the light. Maybe by the time I'm seventy I will slow down enough to enjoy the treasury of beings like you mention.
Always look forward to your perspective,

Hi Mary,
No question, this raising a family demands the large part of our time and fitting in others is no small managment task, but the rewards are rich as you described. Wish my family were of stock that lived longer, can't imagine what it would be like to have a conversation with my Dad. Maybe that is why I find comfort being with the elderly as well?
You are so right, they all have a tale to tell.
Love Fred

Hi Josesph,
I'm glad you like this post. I thought you would because you post so many interesting posts about people you meet in every day life.
I think of you as one who lives this post out more than most, certainly more than I. But it is true, when we are in a large crowd it takes a grace not to focus on myself and where I want to go and see people as only an impediment to my progress. A sad state, but when I do slow down it always brings reward.
Thanks for your thoughtful comments,