A Study of Humans

Screenshot of the White Rabbit from the traile...

Late again!

Blast!  I’m late!  I know I’m late!  I feel like the White Rabbit, feet flying, coattails flapping, ears hanging on for dear life, pocket watch in hand and nearly crushed by anxious fingers.

2 weeks in the life of me = 2 weeks of empty posts.  There has been, at the same time, too much and too little to write about.  So if there’s anyone out there, a thousand apologies.  But, onward.

Not so long ago, on a Facebook page not so far away, I secretly polled my friends with a general status post: What’s your hobby?  I knew I would get a response almost immediately–people love to talk about themselves–and indeed, several people did reply.  I will share the results presently; there is a reason I am sharing this information with you.

I conducted this survey because I was eager to put forward an experiment: Having observed the seemingly incompatible hobbies of my coworkers with their day jobs, I wanted to discover if, for the average person, work was at all associated with play or if the two had completely different origins.  I had recently observed that a worker cannot be known or understood only by his labor.  A job is more often work for the hands and mind with the purpose of keeping bills paid and bellies filled, but what one does with his time away from the workplace reveals much about the dreams and reaches of the soul.  (I know that makes me sound like a hippy or something, but stick with me.)  His personality is displayed and perhaps, best understood, in looking at how he spends his leisure time.  Does he engage in creative efforts? Does he bend his hands to other work in his hours off the clock? Does he spend his free time with friends or by himself?  Indoors or out?

*I also offer some personality traits that may or may not connect the person’s job and leisure.

Now, to relieve you of your confusion, I will offer the results of my observations among my friends and coworkers:

Person A: Female in her 30s, history professor, very energetic, witty, loves to run, eat, and experiment in the kitchen, is fond of her horses, and enjoys “reading, running, smelling things, building stuff, playing with piano and narrating things the cat does.”

Person B: Female in her 40s, used to be in the Army, works with the state highway patrol, is friendly, a great storyteller, and loves to fish.

Person C: Female in her early 20s, a recently graduated psychology major, enjoys photography, playing piano, singing, spending time with her large family, talking, writing, and being curious.

Person D: Female in her late 20s, very energetic, artistic–loves to draw and paint, friendly, loves to have real conversations about life, hates when people are fake, loves to bargain for a bargain, enjoys cooking (especially if she has lots of veggies, organic foods, and whole grains), is very independent, a good listener, and offers love to everyone she meets.

Person E: Female in her 30s or 40s, a stay-at-home mom, funny, friendly, loves fishing (especially with Person B), and is a great storyteller.

Person F: Female in her 30s, a stay-at-home mom with an 11-month-old daughter, loves reading, baking, talking, and spending time with her family, is a great storyteller, and enjoys making items to sell at her local Farmer’s Market.

Person G: Male in his late 20s, helps family with chores around the homestead and assists his siblings with work around their own homes, is a recent English department graduate, enjoys writing (but has some trouble with spelling), reading in the vein of Cyrano de Bergerac, Quentin Durward, and Ivanhoe, learning about guns and Civil War history, dislikes crowds, a thinker, enjoys libraries, hill country, fishing, hunting, building, improving cars, making music, dancing, photography, and making people laugh.

I will now switch to a few of my coworkers and one sister, who were not surveyed as were the above. 

Person 1: Female in her 40s, housekeeper at a local nursing home, loyal, friendly, energetic, a good worker, outspoken, loves people and laughing, enjoys fishing with her husband, and is always ready to help her department coworkers.

Person 2: Female in her 40s or 50s, housekeeper at a local nursing home, friendly, loves to laugh and tease, a good worker, outspoken, opinionated, generous in all things, and loves to experiment in the kitchen, which often results in sharing her creations with coworkers.  :)

Person 3: Female in her 40s, nurse at a local nursing home, often serious and quiet, but has a wonderful laugh and smile, and enjoys fishing.

Person 4: Female in her late 20s, works in billing for city utilities, loves spending time with her 13-month-old daughter, cooking, enjoys learning about outer space, the ocean, Egypt, lighthouses, the Titanic, United States history, and historical trivia in general, and wants to take a vacation to Hawaii because she loves the landscape.

Person 5: Female in her very early 20s, works in her college’s nursing department, plays her grandmother’s violin in the university orchestra, is studying chemistry, is loyal, friendly, thoughtful, and generous, hates bugs and snakes, is not a morning person, thinks chick flicks are silly (I was disappointed with her opinion of Pride and Prejudice), is very realistic and down-to-earth, her favorite book is the Bible, though she also enjoys reading fiction.

I could keep going, but I’ll close this epic-length post before people begin to get bored (assuming you haven’t already and are still reading this).  I’ll close this way: I have learned from this “study” that there are several people I thought I knew by looking at one angle of their lives.  Lo and behold, by looking at them as deeper characters and souls, by turning them back and forth a little in the light, I saw real people–with opinions, temperaments, loves, hates, dreams, and regrets–reaching up out of the two-dimensional page I had pasted them on.

Ponder This: If I had listed each person’s ethnicity, religious beliefs, political views, etc., how would your view of him or her have changed?

Swing on by and chat awhile! I would serve up some lemonade and snickerdoodles, but the virtual kind don't taste very nice. Sorry about that.

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