Publicly Aloof

Public transportation may be one of life’s biggest oddities; the riders, not the buses and trains. A group of strangers becomes effortlessly unified by the shared need to ride public transit. But this unity of the public, a community if you will, is unwelcome with silence. It’s like an awkward middle school dance: You walk into the room and everyone is standing alone (well, sitting in this case) against the wall. Accidental eye contact is strange, let alone verbal conversations with another person. The bold public transit riders are easy to spot as they are the ones sitting on the outer seat, their belongings keeping the inside seat warm, attempting to avoid possible contact at all costs.There are usually as many headphones in as there are heads down staring into a cell phone or tablet screen, and good luck getting a random smile from anyone. Have we become so withdrawn that we deem connecting with strangers unnecessary? We would rather sit alone in silence than reach out to someone standing right next to us. Oscar Wilde once said, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” Stop existing and start living.

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