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December 22, 2019

Last night, Edgerton Park in New Haven had their 2nd Annual Winter Solstice Luminary Walk. They lined the park’s path with candles, so there was enough light to follow the path. You could only see other peoples’ silhouettes, not their faces or clothes.

Several figures in a dark park with only their silhouettes visible.

This setup rarely happens to me but always find it intriguing. I can’t see the details often used for value judgments, like clothes or attractiveness. They’re simply people like myself. Knowing only, I assume they’re just as complex and worthy of basic respect as I am. That took away much of the usual social anxiety I experience around others. I don’t fear how I may judge them or they may judge me.

Part of me wishes life could always be like this, with a veil of ignorance over how we see people. So many dark paths of history likely would have changed or never happened at all.

But another part of me is also upset, knowing we’d need something like that to treat others better.