I’m catching a train today, for the first time in quite a while. The other day I was on a bus, too.
What’s really struck me is how public transport can burst the filter bubble we have around us, if we let it. Especially on trains, one can see all manner of people taking different journeys. Often also very different people making similar journeys. In a car you’re more isolated and it’s harder for the outside world to make a mark on your consciousness.
I’ve noticed groups travelling to a shopping trip, full of joy. People travelling alone, looking tired and stressed, withdrawn and uncomfortable. Families encouraging each other; other families squabbling. Couples whispering lovingly, sharing a relationship that the rest of the train isn’t privy to. Couples whispering furiously, accidentally sharing their currently fractious relationship with those of us close by. There’s a spectrum of behaviour much broader than I can do justice to.
Here, on my journey, I notice how readily I can associate what I see with my own circumstances – now or in the past. I see that despite many outward differences, I share much in common with my fellow travellers. It’s also clear that no matter the differences in thinking or conversation, we’re all human.
I’m pleased I haven’t just looked out the window!