Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lessons from the NY subway (part 1)

I always enjoy the New York pulse. It's exciting. It's electrifying. It energizes.

New York has got to be one of the most animated cities on our planet. No matter the time of day or night, you will see people. The streets are alive with business executives, tourists, hawkers, sidewalk evangelists, yellow cabs, and, nowadays, lots of cops.

Beneath those bustling New York streets there's the shadow-life of the subway system. For millions the subway is an integral part of life in New York. It is here that you can observe the people, their quirks and habits- and their attitudes. You can learn much about life from watching what happens on those trains.

Back on the subway a few days ago (it's been nine months since my last NY visit), I again noticed the prevalent isolationist attitude of commuters.

Some spread newspapers to shield themselves from their co-riders. Some read books or magazines, while others escape into the Hip-Hop that pulsates through their Ipods. Those unequipped with the tools to create the required barrier simply avert their eyes.

It's as though the common thinking is: "I am an individual. My life is absolutely independent of yours. We have nothing in common and no shared experience. Please, leave me alone."

Just then, the train lurches forward- and every single passenger lunges back the same distance, at the same time and the same velocity...

No comments: