One of my favorite past times is watching people at various places as they walk along going about their business. I enjoy seeing couples holding hands, people talking and laughing, and I especially enjoy watching families having fun together.
One of my favorite places to watch people is at an ocean front boardwalk near where my wife and I live. She also enjoys watching people, and just the other day we were there sitting on a bench across from an arcade where a fortune-telling machine sits outside; doing just that.
The machine actually reminds me of the one used in the 1988 Tom Hanks film Big. The movie is about a boy who uses a fortune-telling machine called Zoltar Speaks to make a wish that he was big. After becoming an adult, however, he’s still the same boy inside that he was before.
Anyway, as I sat there, I saw people walking along by themselves and in couples, but on this particular day families seemed more abundant. They came in all shapes and sizes, and some would stop and drop coins in the fortune-telling machine to see what it had to offer in the way of fun.
As I said, families are my favorite people to watch, but what I’m looking for in everyone is the part of them that helps me to love them. I call it their innocence, and as I sat there watching different families laugh and smile together at an amusement that by today’s standards is quite tame, I got what I was looking for. I’m not sure how innocent some of the family members truly were, but for the few minutes they stood in front of that fortune-telling machine, I couldn’t help but to love them.
It’s a much different world today than it was when the movie Big came out. At times people can seem immoral and even corrupt. But from what I saw in those families that day, it gives me hope that as a society we’re not at the end of our innocence just yet.