A large forehead

Posted on August 9, 2016 by Feiko Beckers

A while ago I was waiting in front of a traffic light with my bike when a young woman stopped next to me. She was on the phone with a friend and she was talking about a date she’d had the night before.
      “He was really nice.” I heard her say. “I really had the feeling we hit it off. Until he suddenly told me that I had a very large forehead.”
      The woman was shocked about that. And so was I.
      But more than shocked, it made me curious. Because did she really have a large forehead? No matter how rude the man had been to her, I first and foremost wanted to know if he was telling the truth.

Curiosity often wins from other emotions. With me for example it’s compassion that often loses out on curiosity. It’s an unconscious process that I’m very ashamed of. If I for example see that a friend of mine is in pain I will first ask: “What happened?” And only after that I will ask if he’s okay.
      And that also happened when I first saw this picture. Instead of immediately feeling compassion for this homeless man who is clearly struggling to keep himself warm, I first got curious. Because did the warmth from this subway air vent really curl up his sleeping pad like that? And does it take it’s original shape again when it cools down?

In the end I didn’t get to find out whether the woman really had a large forehead. Just as I wanted to sneak a peek, the light turned green and she took off. I tried to catch up with her, but was unsuccessful. Apparently my curiosity is no match for a young woman in a hurry.

Photo: Lev Ilizirov

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