|Original source unknown|
Whenever we sit in a public place, within close quarters of a handful of strangers, on a train perhaps, a bus stop, what is it that connects us all? Sure, a common situation of being wherever we are at that precise moment, where we're going maybe, a physical equality between us all. All moving at the same pace (or not at all), doing the same thing or have the same opportunity to do so in transit. Same sheep or cattle in the same boat.
But I can't help but think we all feel we are secretly in possession of some knowledge which we think makes us better than somebody else. That the guy reading a book about God knows something we don't, that the girl in her late teens puts what she's done with her face today above the choices of everyone else, that I believe the music I'm listening to is a grade above anything else being played in the carriage today. We all look around and without even wanting to, we form a judgement about a person's attitude or lifestyle based on their wonky tie, scruffy shoes, the bags under their eyes, the volume of their music, their tone with their companions, whether they smiled back at you.
When we look, when we see these things which make up these strangers, as human and as damaged as you are yourself, what is it within us which feels compelled to draw comparisons? Comparisons which we know are futile, unfair on one or both of us, and a waste of precious energy.
Worst of all, we sit in silence. We ignore the common ground, the exchange of glances, the hour's gift we've been given and instead spend it in solitude with pointless thoughts about seemingly irrelevant people, strangers on a train.
We could embrace that time, that opportunity, and form real opinions on real substance, or as much as you can get from a short period of time, and discover the preponderancy of lessons we can learn from people we don't know, instead of choosing to mull over the lives we have created for these strangers on the train.