Nothing happens, or does it?

Nothing much you can see in your sight, when it is only whatever happens within 20 meters. 

I was at a coffee shop, observing whatever happened within 20 meters of the road in front of me. Nothing happened, actually. You know, people passed by, motorbikes and cars also passed by at multiple speeds. 

“Nothing happened” became the problem that I think we are having now. We are being autopilot for way too long that we forget how to see what actually happened around. So I decided to look closely at what really happened.

It was 5.15 in the afternoon, 30 minutes after my arrival at the coffee shop. I sat on the second floor, with my sight having more limitations to what it could observe. With such limitations, I had a book accompanying me. The first thing that I observed was I put more focus on the book when I have limitations in the space surrounding me and external stimulation. And after 30 minutes reading a chapter of the book, my eyes needed to rest. Then at 5.45, I looked around.

There was a cat across the road, searching for something, probably food. Maybe the cat was hungry. For 2 minutes, the cat walked from a corner to another corner to find what it was searching for. Another object came to my eyes. There was an old man carrying a cart, walking with fifty percent of his energy that day. He just passed by and was lost from my vision. 

Both objects triggered a question on what theme I aimed to observe: when we see things within 20 meters of our vision, maybe it is not that “nothing happens”, but we just don’t know what to observe. And what is it really about? 

A cat, an old man, and another object came to my sight. Two street food stalls, martabak manis and ketoprak, are starting their daily operation. Three crews who came early to prepare started their duties to open the stalls. After preparation, I saw they can inhale a bit of sense of accomplishment, before another anxious moment approaches. 

And then there was an interaction between the martabak stall crew and a parking man. The parking man tried to arrange the shared parking space to be more manageable, as more and more people came. Again, what is it really about?

I observed that within 20 meters of my sight, the cat and the people I saw were trying to manage their fate, to survive. The cat is probably homeless, and it needs to continue living with its capability. God knows when and from whom it will get the food. The old man with the cart, he was selling goods. With the energy that he had, he walked around the town to sell those goods. 

The crews and the parking man, they were working in an odd working shift to keep the business running, no matter on what scale those operate. Beyond running, the crews and the parking man managed it to operate harmoniously in the limited shared space they had.

One is definitely born with a written story of fate, but to make the fate work in favor of him, one needs to act on it. Simply put, fate may not be taken for granted. The cat, the old man, the crews, the parking man, demonstrated how they tried to make fate work in favor of them; to live, to keep running.

And I, in the condition of a very short attention span I just realized an hour ago, am trying to redirect my fate by being conscious about what’s actually happening around me. This probably will be a starting point for me to see things with gratitude, as well as my effort to cherish the people, the moments happening around me. No one knows that those can just pass by without you noticing. 


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