A Window Into The Soul

A Window Into The Soul

by Adam Goodwin | 2013

United Kingdom

Regular readers of my various blog posts likely know I am spending the next year+ in the United Kingdom. Over the year+ I am a professional staff member of an English university’s student services department.

This past week, I have travelled up and down the United Kingdom. York, Endinburgh, and Liverpool – some of England and Scotland’s most beautiful and historic cities (i.e., a collective of individual human beings).


While in York, I visited a lovely cafe for a quick lunch. I was lucky to get a window seat upstairs. My chair and table overlooked one of York’s beautiful squares below. The green leaves transforming and evolving into red and yellow leaves as the season changes from a warm summer to a warm fall.

People Watch

In between bites of a fantastic thin crust pizza (the salami kind), I was people watching. Babies being pushed by parents. Children holding the hands of their parents as they tried to run across the square. Teen girls looking into the eyes of their partner-of-the-day as they hold the hands of their teen boy who happens to be a very special friend. And the newly weds on a honeymoon in one of the UK’s many hidden gems. Businessmen on phone calls as they scurry to an appointment followed by a meeting. Older adults who have a life of knowledge and better grasp on the wonders and gifts of the world – their slow pace is little to do with physical fitness and more to do with their wisdom of not wanting to miss a once-in-a-lifetime moment (for never again will they be in this exact same location with the same individuals walking to and from with me eating lunch watching them all).

This quick lunch provided me with a powerful window into the human soul.

Human Differences

This made me think of the many differences between humans. Cultural differences between countries and nations. With the UK, there are even stark differences between cities in terms or culture. Languages, words, and literature all provide a more efficient and convenient way in which humans can communicate. Can share their perception of the second-to-second occurrences happening all the time all around each of us.

In the UK, we drive on the left, while North Americans drive on the right. In most Asian countries, the diet is heavily based on rice, whereas North America mostly has a meat-centred diet. In many countries, the right to vote is thought of as something that had forever existed, while other civilisations fight day-to-day for this basic right of a democratic society (my parents are both examples as they witness the daily battle in Cairo, Egypt).

The list of differences are numerous. What many will realize, many of the differences have to do with the groups of these individuals. The collectives of individuals in how we explain their differences. What got me thinking was not necessarily these large collectives of individuals. I was thinking about each and every individual human being in the world.

The Individual Human

I started thinking about differences between human beings. The more I thought of this, the less I was able to generalise. The more I realised how similar each individual human being is to their fellow brother and sister.

The basic human similarities. The need and want for food, drink, shelter, clothing, and love and friendship. The need to feel like they belong to something – they are an important being to both other individuals and the collective, at the same time.

Your Call To Action

We must all reflect on our own attitudes and beliefs. Reflect on how we see both ourselves, our friends, family, and others. We have so much in common with the other seven (7) billion people on the planet. No one person is better, and no one person is more deserving of an unjust and unequal life. We must each do every little small thing possible in our day-to-day life to ensure others have the freedom and opportunity for a life of freedom, happiness, inner peace, and love.

As I regular write on my Twitter, this is truly #OneWorld.


These are one person’s thoughts and opinions.  I welcome and strive to get your feedback and own thoughts. Feel free to comment below or connect with me via social media.

Adam Goodwin is a Canadian working in the United Kingdom, and is a proud shameless idealist. His parents currently work in Cairo, Egypt. He has siblings and distant family in Canada and around the rainbow nation’s only home. Follow his year+ overseas on Twitter (@adam13goodwin) and on this blog.</strong



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  1. One of the hardest things to understand being from the UK is how people don’t have a passport, not even traveling documents, and cannot move around freely. So hard when you have a dying loved one or someone who needs you.

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