The public commonwealth. The notorious pinnacle of mankind’s finest citizens of modesty; dwelling the mutual ability to place each other in an inevitable realm of lonely company. The public, what is it exactly? Some might say it’s a necessitated situation in life where we must act with respect and morale. Others might say that it’s a disposable opportunity to make their presence be known everywhere, whether it be through provocative fashion, controversial clothing, or through ensuring their each and every word is heard by the world. My take on what it is, to satisfy all parties of defining the public, is the only place where we are obliged to practice what our mother taught us- to act like grown ups. When we’re not in public, we scarcely implement our education in manners and humility- we all share the same lack of civil integrity. It’s most definitely not something to be ashamed of- I mean, we all never really grow up. Behind closed doors we act with the our utmost idleness, leisure, and authentic character- this is where we extravagantly release our unrelenting urges to be human, to be foolish. Imagine what society would be like if we actually practiced what we act like in public within our personal lives- there would be no diversity in character, lifestyle, or culture. The public is the fully accessible place for the commonwealth to act like grown ups- there is no substance, character, or behavioral diversity within the great populace of mankind. At least that’s what it appears to be on the surface- but within the deep, elaborate, and foggy alleyways into complete strangers’ lives lies the authenticity of someone’s real identity that is so well protected and concealed when in public. This distinction can be made by actually looking at someone in a restaurant, subway, or on the street- I mean, actually look at them. You’ll notice something off about their “public behavior”, because when something personal is dawning on someone’s life- the public isn’t even enough of a rebuking factor to remember to appear normal in the eyes of a stranger. They could be fidgeting, looking around nervously, staring blankly in front of them, have their hands folded in front of their face, or have a flat out irritated expression. Once you notice this subliminal, unnoticed behavioral aspect of their emotional condition- you have just earned yourself a front row seat in the spectacular movie of their life. Think about it, this’ll blow your mind. Here’s a scenario: You are sitting on a bench in a subway within the never ending tidal waves of people crashing and mingling between and around each other. You’re listening to the symphony of a thousand voices, and the defining anonymity of an unaccompanied populace is looming over you. In the eye of this social storm- the waves of people intercrossed each other and unintentionally worked in conjunction to reveal a scarce peephole through the entire crowd. On the other side of this vantage point specifically made for your current position, stands a beautiful girl in her 20s. You’re immediately awestruck by her alluring appearance and adjust your position on the bench to maintain a better view. After a few seconds of stealing a few looks to appreciate her beauty- you see that she’s wiping her face discretely and somewhat hastily. Her eye make up is slightly smeared with tears and she has a grieved look on her face. You look a little closer and see that she is clutching a piece of paper in her hand at her waist- almost ripping it. You look back up to see her face but the once ambient tsunamis of people now made their rambunctious presence be known again, and the intricate congruencies of the populace obliterated your precious viewpoint of this girl in anguish. You quickly get up from the bench and frantically try to look over the crowd, extending your body’s height at it’s maximum. The announcement that the train is arriving sounds over the intercom and you try your best to work your way through the impossible puzzle of people. The train arrives and opens its doors. You stop and try to look through the crowd and for a split second you see the girl board the train. You’re stuck in a traffic jam and the train leaves with her, her life story, and your never to be acknowledged sympathy for her. You stand there within the crowd in complete disappointment and grief- you lost her, and you’ll never know why she was so sad. This situation is fascinating- along with countless others. We all live our stories independently with anonymity when in public- we strive to conceal everything that’s going on in our lives. Everybody does this in public, everybody has a story, and everybody doesn’t know a thing about each other. With this fact taken into perspective, realize that you are the background of someone’s life story, and that someone is the background of yours, without either of you knowing it. We are all in company when we are in public, but we are all within isolation in spite of company. Fascinating isn’t it? So, the next time you are in public- acknowledge the fact that you are currently playing the role as an “extra” in a complete stranger’s life story, and that they are playing as an extra in your life story.