People of the world, there is an urgent need for all of us to be mindful of others.
A while ago, I hopped onto the train fully aware, equipped, and prepared for the usual crowded experience as it were also rush hour. This means, I try my best to make room for more people, who also need to be on time for work like me.
As the train filled quickly, I was standing in the middle of the aisle. Then I noticed a person who, upon entering the doors proceeded to demand quite loudly that we move further down the lane when it was visually evident that there was no more room to move into. “We just have to make do with where we are” I thought.
Finally, as the train moved forward, he quietly stood beside me and proceeded to taking out his mobile phone to play a game. Which was OKAY until it became an inconvenience to everyone.
As the train made stops and the crowd grew bigger, I have observed how this man managed to shake his head each time he was pushed a little by the eager commuters but never did he take off his hands and eyes on his phone, in the middle of a jam packed situation, right in the moment we needed him the most. LOL!
In short, we all had to carry him! He made his weight fluctuate left and right like a bouncing ball when he could have simply grabbed on any railing available – just as what everyone else was doing.
Finally, when the crowd subsided a little in Ortigas station, this same man had the gall to express his thoughts on his own inconvenience, again loudly for all of us to hear. That’s the time I spoke up to say the truth.
“Kinakarga ka po namin. Next time po humawak kayo sa railing. Wag ka muna mag cellphone.” (Next time, don’t hinge your weight on us. You could have just grabbed onto the railing but instead relied on us to carry you.”)
My words were limited and I wish I could have more time to explain. But it is what it is – as clear as day.
Sorry but it had to be me. I had to say it. Though I was fully prepared to carry him all throughout, walang problema, the lack of mindfulness, selfishness, and self-entitlement was too much that he needed someone to tell him.
I am unsure at first if I did the right thing – because as you know, “blessed are the peacemakers.” I could have held my tongue but I also live by “speaking the truth in love” because we’re all responsible for one another. I couldn’t have let the moment pass. We could learn a thing or two from strangers too.
But one thing I’m sure of is that I, 100% wasn’t looking for any trouble. In fact, I spoke the truth out of the intention to help this guy be a more responsible commuter.
It’s not entirely his fault. I understand we are all wired towards our phones and it could be that he couldn’t help it. But what I wish everyone to realize is that we all have to master an intrinsic kind of way to control our behaviors.
We all need to self-reflect sometimes. It is fairly OKAY to use your mobile phones. There are no LAWS banning that. However, it takes a certain amount of wisdom to become discerning or insightful: “Will I be a bother when I pull out my phone on this crowded place?”
Again, this shoots off to other aspects of our lives:
“Will I bother other people if I put my music on too loudly?”
“Will I be inconveniencing anyone if I block off the air conditioning unit?”
“Will I cause someone a bad day if I just leave my piece of trash on this table?”
Friends, how many of us tie/hold our hair in place, hug our bags, hold onto the railings, give space for people, give up our seats for the elderly etc. during our public commutes — all for the purpose of being less of a bother to our fellow commuters? (Philippians 2:4)
There are lots of things we could ask OURSELVES so that we could come out on the streets more considerate of others.
In fairness, the man did seem to reflect a little on what I said.
Yes, it’s easy to think about our own sake and how hard it already is for us to ride the train, the jeep, the bus. But a little kindness and mindfulness on the needs of other people will not add to our burden.
If there’s a way we could squeeze in a little more to accommodate everyone’s needs then let’s do it. But it takes CONSCIOUSNESS and awareness first.
Oh please, I am not perfect! Haha. I have also been inconsiderate half of my life. But I am happy that God is slowly revealing things to me. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I still struggle. But I use this blog to share my learning and to come back to it lest I forget in the future.
Ultimately, we pray for the public transportation to finally improve so that no other people be robbed of their peace and personal space during an entirely harmless commute.
Let’s try harder, do better the next time. 🙂