During my recent visit to Singapore last weekend, attending a meditation program, I have looked into the eyes of many people. I have spoken to many, and I believe I’ve been changed by these encounters.
One encounter with a friend of mine, opened up how people do the same action, but have completely different purpose which results in profound experiences. One conversation that comes to mind, is the use of public transport. I see myself using public transport as often as I can for two compelling reasons; 1. to have the experience of walking, listening, learning, observing the environment that I am in; and 2. to minimize my carbon footprint. My Singaporean friend, whom I was chatting with, sold his car and now uses public transport. I felt a sense of oneness with him, but after sharing with him, I discovered that his motivation for using public transport is worlds apart. He is totally disgruntled with the idea of driving. He believes that driving is a waste of time, money and resources, which I tend to agree when I look in the eyes of some of the drivers caught in traffic jams for hours, either leaving home to work or vice versa.
For me using public transport is an enriching experience for the reasons stated above, while for my dear friend, I get a feeling that he “has to” take public transport, for his reasons and believes.
Differences in points of view does contribute to richer conversation, and uplifting experiences. Both of us using public transport, achieve the same goal, i.e. to get from point A to point B. But the driving force behind the goal and the emotions, feelings and judgements vary for both of us, me being Malaysian and he Singaporean. Who knows how many other points of views are there in the world, just for the use of public transport. From the social point of view, one barrier to using public transport could be the “status” factor. Nevertheless, an important role played by public transport is to ensure that all members of society are able to travel, not just those with a driving license.
Down side is that you don’t get to eat, bring your pet or smoke inside public transportations, which you can do while driving 🙂