I ride the train to work each day. (No, that's not my rant -- wait for it.) In the evenings, there's a woman who always sits in a certain seat, reading the Washington Post really, really quickly. There's nothing wrong with a little routine, god knows I love it. However, she also always sits on the aisle seat so that there is an empty seat next to her. She seems to think she gets two seats, even though the train fills up station after station. When I get on the train, someone always asks her politely "May I sit there?" to which she always responds with a roll of the eyes, flap of the paper, no words, and the slightest shift of her knees so that the person has the least possible amount of space in which to get to the aforementioned seat.
Now, I don't know this woman. She may be a wonderful person. A caregiver. A nurturer. I don't know.
But I do see her as a symbol for our society right about now. It strikes me that she really seems to be only concerned with her own wants and desires (i.e., to have lots of room around her). She does not care how her actions affect others. She wants what she wants, and if made to give something up, she is clearly annoyed (judging from the way she looks around at the other passengers as if to say "See what I have to put up with?").
I wonder how much any of us stops to think about how our actions and decisions each day affect others. The products we buy, the food we eat, how we choose to spend our free time. These things can very much have an effect on other people. It's a big planet, but we're all connected.
Could we do more? Should we do less? Does anyone stop to think about it any more? Do you think about it? Let me know.
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