Saturday, 2 April 2011

Story: Please mind the (communication) gap

Original Article written for Passive Observers by Petros Iliadis - April 2, 2011, 16:20

While experiencing the traffic peak of my daily routine, passing by Kings Cross tube station, I was reading a report analyzing how overcrowding on the Tube and our environment in general, can, and actually is affecting our behaviour.

The report was referring to that “shocking levels” of overcrowding that meant some passengers developed a ruthless “dog-eat-dog” mentality when boarding trains. I can imagine we have all been there.

My first thought was, I can understand why people can’t cope with it and retreat into themselves and away from their normal behaviour. Mass transit is a necessity in a city like London, I thought. I instantly looked myself reflecting at the window, the very first think that came in my mind were the lyrics of the song “Stuck in the middle with you”, but this time I did not have a “special someone” in mind.

There I am therefore, in a wagon that exceeds its capacity, noticing all these people around me. Suddenly the coach decreases speed and finally stops at Euston station. From my place I can hardly see a pregnant woman at her mid 30s, struggling to get in. She finally makes it and
with the smile of success on her face, she moves to the next and more difficult leg of her journey: The pursuit of a seat. Unfortunately no one volunteered.

Where have all the good values gone, I asked myself? Youngsters too occupied with their MP3s and cell phones, adults reading newspapers and others pretending to sleep. What a shame. It is sad that the morals and behaviour of many people of today have gone to the drain. We don't seem to care anymore about our values. Not our cultural, nor our personal. Our Human values.

I would not usually bore you with my –back to the Soviet era- anti western society thoughts, that trouble my mind each and every single day, but damn me, these keep on growing. My thoughts are forcibly suspended. I have now reached my destination and prepare to get off. With a small jump I make it to the other side.

Did I truly mind the gap, or is it that I have become so used to it, day after day, that I do not even notice it any more-and take it as given?

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