Invisible Cheerleader

He was a young guy in a suit, sitting in a BMW 7 Series. A driver, evidently, here to pick up someone important. Alas, he was on the wrong side of the road and had to turn around. It was a big road, so he pulled over to the curb.

The indicator came on, but more cars kept coming. From the back. From the front. I wouldn’t use the word “mesmerizing,” but suddenly, we had a situation going on – and I felt compelled to keep looking back as I walked by. “Will he make it? I hope he’ll make it soon. Is his ‘package’ waiting already?”

Across the street, in front of the grandiose building, another 7 Series was already waiting, another young gun at the wheel. Now, we had two people rooting for Mr. U-Turn to succeed. Finally, a gap opened amidst the endless stream of cars, and in one swift motion, he turned his ship of a vehicle around, smoothly gliding into the parking spot in front of his colleague. “Ahhh.” The relief was visceral.

We don’t need a reason to be invested in someone else’s story. Humans must, by nature, root for other humans. We feel compelled to do it, and that’s a wonderful thing. Our heroes needn’t even know we’re there, quietly cheering for them behind the scenes. It’s nice to be an invisible cheerleader. You can clap shamelessly, and, once you’re done, you might even entertain an inordinate idea: What if, the next time I’m struggling, someone will be watching from the sidewalk, silently hoping I’ll succeed?