Donna and I were at O’Hare Field last weekend – off to Florida for a few days. At the airport, I walked by thousands of people. And I didn’t recognize a soul. One or two prompted a second glance – is that . . . . no. And then – from a hundred feet away, I went – that’s JT. And it was. A golfing pal. We chatted (we were on the same flight) and boarded. We arrived at the West Palm Airport and again saw a veritable sea of people as we shuffled toward the exit. All shapes, sizes and attire. But not one person did I recognize. All had the same standard equipment. Face. Nose. Eyes. Ears. Hair. But all were different (some really different).
After getting our luggage and walking outside, I spotted Bob and Carol driving up in a car. I find it pretty awesome that we humans all have a facial recognition software hardwired into our brains. We can pick out someone we haven’t seen in ten years in a crowd of thousands. We can detect an old friend from across the room (“well look who’s here!”). And these faces – and what we perceive to be an evolution of them – is reposed with clarity and order in the gray matter between our ears. Some people change dramatically and become unrecognizable. But most retain some of the remembered characteristics from years past. I remember seeing Jon H. – an old friend from Boy Scout camp – at O’Hare. I hadn’t seen him in years but I knew him in an instant. It’s amazing how our brains work.
Now where did I leave my keys. . . . .