What do you think of when you travel in a train or a bus? Of the meeting, you’re getting late for? Of the family reunion, you’re going to attend? Of a wedding that you so don’t want to go to but your social standing depends upon it? Or do you take a moment and hop off the treadmill of “routine”.
Whenever I ride a bus or a train I think of insignificance. My insignificance. Our insignificance. The collective insignificance. Sitting on a bus or a train makes me feel like I am a part of something larger than life. That I am a part of something bigger than myself. You know how in a colony of bees every bee is assigned a task and they perform that task until their last breath? I feel like a bee when I’m on a bus or a train. Like I am a means to an end. That in a larger realm it won’t matter if I am late for my meeting or I miss an obligatory reunion or if my social status drops a few notches. It won’t matter because there are a thousand other working bees that will pick up my slack. That will keep the system going. What a relief!
I look out the window and I see people. My first thought is “Einstein’s theory of relativity” from the very little high school physics I know. My second thought is “what a freaking genius”. And my third thought is will I pass this particular person again? What does he do? What is his story?
I look inside and I see people. Eye’s on a device, earphones in the ears. Will I ever encounter the same passengers again? Will we catch the same train again? And what sequence of events brought this exact person to the exact seat next to me? Was there a reason behind it or does the universe casually set up these things. Either way, one thing is for sure, we; I, the person sitting next to me and that woman we just passed by are not in control. We are insignificant. Just pieces in a universe-sized chessboard. God makes the moves through destiny, fate or coincidence.
Suddenly I stop moving. The train comes to a halt. I feel the adrenaline rush coming. I have to catch the next thing on wheels that takes me to that meeting I’m running late for. I run.