It can happen in the obvious places: waiting in line at a busy airport terminal; walking through the crowded streets of a big city; watching the ebb and flow of the spectators at a major sporting event. You look up, widen your vision, and you start to notice. You see each distinct face as it passes by. You recognize each individual as a fully-formed, in-the-flesh, unique being. You realize that each and every one has their own story, their own rich, complex, contradictory inner-world. The sea of humanity in all its glory and suffering comes crashing down on you and, just for a moment, you have this wonderful, terrible comprehension of your own place in it all. You understand how small you are.
In this fleeting moment, you may wonder: how many people are being born into the world, right now? Or conceived? How many people are dying?
Where do all of these people get their food? Their water? Where do they live? Where did they come from? Where are they going?
What do they do to make money? Where do they spend all that money? What makes them laugh? What makes them cry? What do they love the most? What do they fear the most?
Each and every individual being contains multitudes. We are so full of so many things. So many thoughts and feelings. Responsibilities. Plans. Relationships. Fears. Triumphs. Failures. Emails. Text messages. Shopping lists. Missed flights. Missed connections. Nights out. Days in. Holidays. Vacations. Favorite songs. Favorite shows. Best friends. First loves. True loves.
Yet how is it that, in the midst of all this, it feels like something is missing? Like it's not enough?