www.whyville.net Nov 30, 2008 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

The Problem With Us

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I personally really adore public transport. Living on the edge of town, I have become well acquainted with it over the years. I'm used to riding on a train, enjoying the thrills of sharing a small designated space with several others, all being courteous and polite for the next few minutes in which we wait for us to reach our destination. I admit that I am that strange kid that constantly stares at you, quickly turning away if you become all too suspicious. Do not feel alarmed or self conscious, I am simply an extreme people watcher, fascinated with how you behave and interact, the clothes you are wearing, that book you are reading, what song you are unwarily tapping your head too. Sitting in silence I wonder what you have made for yourself, here I am centimeters away from a whole new character, the potential is amazing.

Across the seat from me is a worn-down older woman. Her graying hair is messily tied away in a bun, to reveal a dull face. She is wearing what I presume is a work uniform, her self respect is being stabbed away by the brightly colored sales badges pinned to her shirt. She stares down at the floor, avoiding any attention and hiding away from cruel judgments. Soon she digs into her bag to pull out a hefty book, pouring her mind and attention into its story. I wonder about this woman, is she truly happy with her life and did she plan for this? When she was a younger child, could she ever be able to accept this is what would become of her? Perhaps she has more independence than I will ever know, to be able to freely leave her house into the public with such little effort put into appearance. She seems so lifeless; everything lacks a greater meaning and inspiration. I wonder where she has been, what she has experienced, was she once a lively hippy, greatly enjoying all that life has to offer? I scan her hands, desperately searching for a ring, more than anything I want her to be able to go home to the acceptance of a loving partner. I want her to be appreciated and to have her contributions to society to be acknowledged, I feel disgusted that she is left to rot in such a state of despair.

Here our lives have met, before I was an unimaginable identity, now I have briefly entered your life, although chances are we won't talk or share that much of a bond, I will forever wonder what could have been, regret that I didn't mention something. For a few moments, we could have clicked, something amazing could have occurred, a new meaning in life with a goal full of hope and promise, and it has gone. As quickly as the opportunity arises, as I stumbled around in my head, wondering what could have been said, how you could of accepted me, it vanished

In the bottom of my stomach there is a small twisting pain. This is because I can invent these judgments of complete strangers, in which I seem so convinced that I know all their problems and flaws. I know nothing off them, everything is pure fabrication, stretching out the impressions their actions and appearances have made on me. Yet I still sympathize with them, and that is the greater message. We are all humans, we all have the same basic struggles and desires. Instead of thinking of reasons in which we are different, we need to cherish all that we have created and fear the fragility of it all. Yet I feel I will never be able to express this and explain it, my body is a cage and I feel limited by what is expected of me. Surely to scream out that I want to meet every one of you, you are all fascinating and your experiences would be a delight to hear, is complete madness.

I feel as if humans are destroying themselves, complicating life and making basic feelings and decisions into some ridiculous mess. Forms of respect and power are created through greed and domination. The level of aggression and rage amongst us is unbearable, everyone is so quick to turn to violence and then question how we ended up in this situation. The amount of blood which is shed, all due to a lack of acceptance and understanding, will never be able to be acceptably explained. I will never be able to understand what gives one human the right to end the life of another. We all face an unbelievable amount of dissatisfaction, trying to feel some kind of void with products. Trapped in the routine of working jobs we hate to buy objects we don't need. I think we have long forgotten the natural order of things, pulverizing land and all that was once there for our own selfish needs. We seem to be set on the task of attacking our own biosphere, making our only home incapable of supporting life. We overpopulate, we over consume.

I just want an escape; I can see the effects this world is having on my mind. I have had enough of trying to impress you, these shoes are painful and I feel ridiculous. I don't care what Britney Spears is doing, I want to see the common day hero be bought to the spotlight, the one who struggles day after day just in hope of a better tomorrow. This culture can just swallow you whole, chewing up any decency and freedom.

I want to be able to start over, to find some beautiful place and just get lost in appreciating every small detail of it. Anyone is welcome, just bring some good conversation. To be free of the rules and order and structure, were I will finally have the courage to talk to you on that train ride, what are you going to tell me?

Confused and questioning it all,


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