Are you one of those who immediately react to a loud phone conversation in a public place? I mean, it’s a one-sided conversation from where you stand so, why do you have to hear it? You are not alone. It is even more irritating when you have to turn up the volume of your music to drown it out, especially when you’re trapped with the offender on the same bus or train until either one of you gets off at a stop. I've also posted pictures on twitter of commuting etiquette that I found on a CTA train. So, it's a widely accepted rule to avoid being loud when talking on the phone in public places.
However, it was different today. No one minded or showed irritation when a woman got on the train and was talking loudly on her phone. Thank God there were no kids in our car because her language was crude, mildly speaking. Though a one-sided conversation with someone we all came to understand was her significant other, her points came across very well. There was a moment of pause where I felt like we all wanted to hear her take a stand, and she did. We all cheered, laughed, thumbs went up, “yes!” exclaimed in low tones by a few, including me, while respecting the fact that it was supposed to be a private conversation. I imagined that had the object of her anger followed her on the train, he would have gotten lots of evil eyes. I also imagined that had he been there and tried to touch her, even in a non-threatening way, he would have been stopped by one of the men.
Now I ask, what was different about this woman’s neglect of the rule? Why did we accept it? What was it about her conversation that firmly put us all on her side without hearing the other person involved in it? Bear in Mind that there were men and women of every race, culture, and ethnicity in this car. So, why did we do it? Was it in her voice? Did we connect to something within her at the time that made us feel protective of her?
I have been mulling over these questions since that train-ride home and I can’t put my finger on it. All I know is that I felt the true meaning of oneness from everybody in that car. Justice? Perhaps not because we only heard her side of the conversation but, when she said, “enough,” something in that simple word made us cheer. Maybe it was us being human and understanding of her current need to put an end to whatever it was that made her so mad.
We are one. We love the same, we laugh and cry the same, and we hurt the same, because we are human beings. With everything that’s going on in our world, I am extremely grateful to see that the spirit of oneness dwells in a majority of us. Peace to the World!