In Lesson 5-A “Observing and Perceiving Your World,” we learned about the importance of observing and perceiving the world around us. We also learned about using our five senses to perceive the world and how to note our observations in a Stenographer’s Notebook. We focused on observing the environment around us. Not only do we need to focus on the environment but we also need to focus and observe people around us.
For many of us, dealing with the people around us can be one of the greatest challenges we face in life. People, who are created by God, cannot fully understand one another because we cannot begin to fathom God or His works. People, each one unique, have their own personalities with their own likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and beliefs.
Study people. Don’t simply notice when they laugh or cry. Try to find out what makes them respond this way. What makes them laugh or cry, bristle or cuddle, neat and efficient or sloppy and lazy, remember or forget. Find out why they accept or reject God. When studying people, look for clues in:
- Physical features that they were born with and cannot change: eye color, skin color, height, weight, and physical abnormalities.
- Physical features they choose: hairstyles, coloring their hair, clothing selections, makeup choices, textures of hands, tattoos, jewelry, etc.
- Facial expressions: crying, countenance low as in depression, sickness, hurting, grieving, angry, shouting, smiling and happy, joyful and singing, tired and yawning, complaining and griping.
- Ways they move about: walking, skipping, running eating, talking, carrying items, bending over, slouching, standing, fighting, yelling, participating or refraining from sports or other activities.
- Social habits: pleasant, critical, outgoing, loud, strongly opinionated, quiet, proud, comfortable, shy, humble, flexible, grouchy, negative, loving, prefer solitude to having people around. Do they have hobbies or attend sports events, fashion shows, art galleries, movie theaters or other places where people socialize.
- Human needs: Look for the needs that are common to people and make lists of these things people: dream about, need, fear, get frustrated about, find delight in, believe in, and strive or sacrifice for.
- Emotions and moods. Learn to be sensitive to the prevailing moods in every circumstance in which you find yourself. For example it might not be appropriate to be laughing hysterically while you are attended someone’s funeral. It may not be appropriate to sit in the cheering section of your local sports team and cheer on the opponent.
Take some time and go to a place where people congregate (but keep your 6 ft. social distancing rule in effect). Observe what people are doing and notice the above seven categories. Write down your observations in your stenographers’ notebook.
On your notebook page (left side) write down whether the person you are watching is an adult, child, female, male, a nurse or doctor, a banker or ? See if you can tell about their profession. In the right side on your notebook page, record your observations about them, such as they were tall, short, slender, drinking coffee, working on a project, happy (according to the seven categories above).
For more practice (optional): Go to the following places and note your moods and observations of people around you:
- A mountain lakeside resort
- A crowded city street
- A child’s hospital room
- A family argument
- A classroom at test time
- Your child’s first bicycle ride
- The birth of your child
- An unexpected emergency
- A room full of partying people
- A church worship service
- Hiking in the woods
- Working in a garden
As you do these activities, note the prevailing mood at the time.