I found this man sitting in a plaza in Rome on a scorching hot day. And I’ve always wondered what book he could be reading. I finally tried to find it. The title hasn’t been translated to English from Italian, but it’s called “La Storia Della Borsa.” And the closest thing I can figure out from the title is stories about the Italian stock exchange. So this guy is reading an economics book in the blazing sun. At least he is wearing a hat. Who would have thought this man would be reading that kind of book? But truth is, you can’t judge a book… You know. You can’t assume you know anything about a person’s story until you ask. Asking good questions is like uncovering buried treasure. I love finding out people’s stories. I didn’t always. My mom taught me to ask questions by always telling me to show interest in people. My dad always seemed willing to joke and talk with anyone. It was a little embarrassing when I was young, but now I think it was a quality I admire. You can learn a lot just by being curious and asking questions. I think those are among the greatest social skills one could develop. Showing interest in people, asking about their story, and showing admiration for what someone has been through. Smiling with delight at what you hear because they may be the only person you meet who has been through something like that. On this day I would have loved to have been able to speak Italian so I could ask what this gentleman was reading. I might have learned something fascinating.
Rome, 1999 Shot on film, Canon A2