March 10, 2016

Things I Learned while Riding the Bus.

public transport bus travel

A few weeks back, my friend James proposed that I should start talking to guys on the bus.

According to him, riding the bus is a great way to meet eligible bachelors. As much as I appreciated his unsolicited dating advice, I wasn’t about to go searching for my future soulmate on the D-Line.

I think it’s safe to say that “folks who ride the bus” come in all shapes, sizes, ages, outfits (or lack thereof), scents, sounds, and of course, varying levels of sanity.

This truth was certainly alive and well among this evening’s crew of passengers.

Recalling my friend’s words of wisdom, I chuckled to myself as I surveyed the cast of characters—my gaze landing on a group of twenty-somethings seated directly across from me. Although the six were fully clothed, unaccompanied by any noticeable odor, and kept to themselves—they caught my eye.


Because every damn one of them was knee-deep in their cell phones—so much so that had I stripped down naked and started screaming racial slurs, they likely would have failed to notice.

It made me sad as I realized that the present moment was being lost right before my eyes, to a virtual reality contained within six inches of plastic.

We all spend so much time worrying about what has already happened, or what’s to come, that we fail to stop and actually live in the present anymore.

If this wasn’t Exhibit A of our cultural affliction, I’m not certain what is.

The only logical solution, I concluded, was to hold myself accountable—to be present.

I’ve opted to spend those thirty minutes each day spent aboard the sh*tshow that is the Metro Bus refraining from responding to text messages, placing phone calls, reviewing emails, or logging into Facebook (to discover that yet another college friend is pregnant, or engaged, or buying a house).

Instead, I’ll simply sit and absorb the craziness that is unfolding around me, enjoying it for every ounce that it’s worth—believing that “real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.” ~ Camus.




Relephant reads:

Why I Gave Up my Cell Phone.

The Gift of Presence.


Author: Emily Elkind

Apprentice Editor: Roseann Pascale/Editor: Renée Picard

Image: Matthew Wiebe at Unsplash

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