Well, I’ll start by saying that I do this, too. We all do. We see someone that we think is beautiful, and we stop and gawk for a moment. We instinctively enjoy looking at beautiful things. I do this with women even more often than men—it’s not sexual.

But, the question at hand is is whether or not to lean into this instinct. Do we embrace it or resist it? Enjoy it or question it?

I would be interested to know your thoughts: is there a difference between a human being and a piece of scenery, like the sunset you described? What is it? And what occurs, in our minds, when we regard a stranger as a piece of scenery? What happens when we feel entitled to think of another person as scenery? How does it affect our attitudes towards them, and towards strangers in general?

Professional writer, parent, educator. Unusual woman.

Professional writer, parent, educator. Unusual woman.