I live in city of around 12 million people, as compared to NY City of around 8 million folks. My city has the worst congestion on the planet, with an average commute speed of 12 mph (not kmph, mind you, but mph.) This means that if your workplace is 10 miles from where you live, you will spend roughly 3 hours every day commuting to work and back. That equals to 60 hours per month sitting in traffic, or 720 hours a year. An equivalent of 18 work-weeks per year, or over 4.5 months of work-time.
In the last 5 days, this city has become a ghost town. I got to work in 20 minutes yesterday, as compared to the average 1 hour. People at work looked glad to be there, even jovial, as opposed to the usual fatigue displayed after getting to the office. Eyes animated, laughing and joking, the cafeteria was sparsely populated, yet the energy-levels were high. I suddenly realized I was looking at a smattering of around 80 people, who were all smiling and laughing. Some wore masks, yet they all looked so cheerful! A stark contrast to the snarky sight I’m used to. Really happy people – a bizarre spectacle…
And then it struck me. We are so psychologically battered from jostling through crowds of people seeking the same things that we do… recognition, money, prestige perhaps, or social standing and lifestyle – or fighting for the first cup of coffee. And when fear strikes, these same competitors stay at home, for some do not have the fortitude.
We are social animals. Isolation is anathema to us. Yet, and yet, I see families spending time together. There are no malls or movie theaters or bars or weddings to attend. All banned here, for now. We are on our own, yet together with our families and the people we care about the most.
I’m not religious, nor a traditionalist. Yet I suddenly see the value of the Japanese bow or the Indian Namaste to greet people. I can salute your spirit while giving space its due.
Stock market crashes could not do it. Bad economic times could not do it. Public health warnings and the CDC could not do it. But a virus did.
When and how will this end? Shall we learn a lesson? That the rampant consumerism that our lifestyles entail perhaps needs a pulse-check? We are strangely happy in a strange world, that got re-created in one week. Because we are reconnecting to the connections we had forgotten, like family, friends, and time.
Robert Pirsig said, “Our goal is to make good time, with the emphasis being on the word ‘good’.” And I forget who said this, “Every ill wind blows in a bit of good along with it.”
Let us cherish this breath of fresh air, a world without crowds.
As Marcus Aurelius said, “Self Reflection, and Self Regulation.” The basis of emotional intelligence, an opportunity to make our home or family, our community and the world, a better place.
A world without crowds. Respect and Comity. Inclusiveness and Community.
Happy reading and reflection…
|A World Without Crowds||382||Deep1||14-Mar-20 16:49|
|Re: A World Without Crowds||120||Aine||14-Mar-20 22:49|
|Re: A World Without Crowds||97||Archaic||15-Mar-20 02:16|
|Re: A World Without Crowds||101||WhoWeird||15-Mar-20 02:19|
|Re: A World Without Crowds||88||Glass Jigsaw||15-Mar-20 11:55|
|Re: A World Without Crowds||91||Brian Patterson||16-Mar-20 02:10|
|Re: A World Without Crowds||84||Aine||16-Mar-20 17:55|
|Re: A World Without Crowds||114||Open mind||15-Mar-20 20:12|
|Re: A World Without Crowds||76||Aine||16-Mar-20 18:03|
|Re: A World Without Crowds||97||Open mind||16-Mar-20 18:10|
|also pollution and global warming||68||drrayeye||19-Mar-20 22:50|
|Re: also pollution and global warming||72||Eddie Larry||19-Mar-20 22:53|
|Get a Tesla||75||drrayeye||19-Mar-20 23:01|
|Re: Get a Tesla||71||Eddie Larry||19-Mar-20 23:46|
|Re: also pollution and global warming||69||Glass Jigsaw||20-Mar-20 02:35|
|Re: also pollution and global warming||119||Eddie Larry||20-Mar-20 03:10|