Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Unexpected

It’s easy to fall into patterns of thinking we know people by what we see. If we do so, however, we miss 9/10ths of what might be there.

When you pass the overweight woman in the store, do you stop to realize she might have been an aerobics instructor?

When you see the college professor, do you picture him hiking in the woods or playing a guitar?

When you see the harried mother in the airport, does it occur to you that she might be a high powered attorney?

When you see the young man with Down syndrome does it occur to you that he might play the piano?

If you are a writer creating characters, do you think to give them the unexpected talent or background or hobby?

Our lives will be richer if we look beyond the surface to see what we might not usually stop to notice or ask about or wonder. Our lives are richer when we truly look at people, look beyond our expectations and see the person who might defy every one of them. And the stories we write will be infinitely more interesting if we add dimensions to our characters that go beyond the surface to make each one unique.