Posted on: July 28, 2011 Posted by: Felicia S. C. Gooden Comments: 0

Individuals. Individuals are unique. Each individual has his or her own different experience. Each individual has his or her own story to tell. Not all stories get told. I ride public transportation. Each day I spend four hours commuting to and from work, or any given location for that matter, and I often enjoy it. Although the commute consumes most of my day, there are always different individuals to observe, each person, in his or her own space, going through his or her day-to-day routine. Thanks to social networking, I am also able to interact with various individuals from all walks of life at any time of the day. Individuals are so different, yet they are all the same.
For starters, during my daily commute, I see everyone in the world. I see the bus driver that is unhappy with his or her job. I see the overtired student who is trying to get to catch a quick nap whilst taking a long commute to school, or the student who is trying to get in a quick cram session before his or her test. I see the nurse that is dreading her 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. shift. I see the God fearing man who puts on a smile everyday in the name of Jesus Christ and his lord God, because he knows he hates his job. I see an old co-worker, still making his was to Lenox Square Mall to sort and replenish panties. Then, a man in a wheelchair has to board the bus, the young ladies in the front look around as if they are flustered about having to move from their seats. Another man, on his way to go clean airplanes, is annoyed with the fact that we have to sit and for the man in the wheelchair to be secured onto the bus. After we get moving again, a young man who wants to be hood rap star when he grows up, gets on the bus and walks straight to the back. He is proud of the fact that he is on his way to go see his probation officer, and talks to his girlfriend on his cell phone as if he is angry about the fact that the police did their job when he was slipping up. But of course, he also plays it cool.
On the train, I see the woman taking her daughters to school. I see the many sleeping faces that are trying to catch a quick nap be fore work. There are a few loud teenagers that are excited about going to their first job, Six Flags. I also see the young man that just got out of jail and is now looking for work. Next to him is a female with two children, praying that she makes it to her WIC appointment on time. I also observe the African- American woman that has an iPad and a well paying administrative job. She pays her own bills and wears a Gucci purse, that she bought out of someone’s trunk for $20, and feels that she is the richest woman in the world. No one can tell her anything, especially since she has just gotten her hair done. At the end of the rail car, there is a couple, a Caucasian female that looks like she gets beaten by her African- American boyfriend. The black eye gives it away. Across from them, is the elderly woman, saddened by the fact that she still goes to work because she has to, not because she wants to. In the middle of the train, there is a young man and his daughter, he has no clue what to do with a girl, but he does his best. Across from him, is the young girl who is mad at the world because she got pregnant at a young age, and the father of her child is nowhere to be found.
At my checkpoint, also known as Five Points, I see the homeless man that walks up and down the platform everyday. He is always begging for money, and always looking somewhat presentable. There is also the military veteran with no tongue, walking up and down the platform yelling and pointing at his Bible, and other people. There are many businessmen and women, waiting on their train, some nurses here, and students there. They are many mall employees, ready to go sell. On the next train, there is the account executive, proud of her accomplishments. She also spikes her coffee because she can’t smoke a cigarette on the train, and there are more people sleeping, trying to get that 15-minute nap in.
Here go the gays. So happy and flamboyant, they are ready to get the day. Standing tall with their heads held high, some of them are giggling wildly and making a scene. Too much reality TV for them; they think they need a camera. Next to the happy people are the hood rats, the ones who act like they were raised with no home training. They act as if they are slaves just now able to get out into the world. They tend to have a high and mighty attitude, because they have just gotten the opportunity to have something of material value. They look around at everyone else with faces of disgust, when actually, they are the one who are disgusting, in their presentation, and in their soul.
At work, there are the managers that all feel that they are important because they have a decent salary in fashion retail. There is the crazy manager that everyone hates, the laid back manager that everyone loves, and the two managers that are in the middle. There is the drama between managers because no one want to listen to anyone else; all Chiefs, no Indians. There are the associates that feel they are important because they do not work at McDonald’s. There is the one associate that wishes he was the boss, but he knows he can’t handle the job. In the back is the associate that just wants to get a paycheck, nothing really matters to him or her. Motley crew if anything.
On Facebook and Twitter, the characters are more interesting. There is the female that has found her center and her happiness and feels like she needs to look down upon anyone that is not “on her level”. This includes randomly judging and cutting off old friends from years ago. There are the single mothers venting and complaining about deadbeat fathers. There are the up and coming musicians. A lot of them as well, and they are all promoting their latest mix tape. I also find the up and coming models that feel the best way to get into the industry is to be a knock off Victoria’s Secret model. I also observe the many promoters, that flood your screen with party invites to events that most people won’t attend. Then next morning, they brag about the huge turn out. I scroll own my screen and I see posts from celebrities, I take a good look and realise that they really are just regular people. Other celebrities post about various things in life that excite them, or promote some huge event that they will be attending, subliminally telling the people the their paycheck depends on a good turn out. A-list musicians make posts about their tour. They love to make everyone feel like they were there. I find the celebrity bloggers, and other vloggers that post their opinions about everything going on with other people because they know people are nosy. Also, there are the many people that are obsessed with other people because there is nothing interesting about them to be interested in. One these sites, I also see all of the bad break ups and the great make-ups. I see the people that are really irate at an ex, or they are depressed about seeing their ex move on. I see the souls of people on these sites. People put it all out there. Even when the message is subliminal, I can still feel what that person is going through.
Last but not least, there are the people I know personally. Including the ones that are insecure and try to cover it up by pointing out my insecurities. The friends that always flake on me, but always call me when they need something. The cousin that always invites me over,  just to find out information and talk badly about me behind my back. I have the one ex that I am a still friend to, but causes awkward moments when she flirts with me. The one friend that is insecure and I can hear it in her voice. I have a friend that likes me, but I don’t know the right way to say that I do not like him. I know my parent who is always going to find a way to treat me like I am 12 years old. I have the family member that is a failure. I know the drug addict that recovered and is staying strong. I love the guy who always ignores me, but it is only because I am not expressing myself the way he wants me to. I know the other guy that only wants to have sex with me. I communicate with the hip-hop artist that is on his way to the top and promotes the “hood rich image”. I know the young man who has money because he lucked up in the music industry, but has forgotten what it is like to talk to a regular person that is broke. I have been infatuated with they guy that wants to be somebody in the industry; he is a jack-of-all-trades, yet he has not accomplished to much. He is the one that puts on a front for whomever he knows and meets, knowing that he has really gotten nowhere. He presents himself to be “that guy”, when in reality, he is a “wanna be”. I know the females that focus too much on me and what everyone else is doing or what we look like or how we are presenting ourselves. They do nothing but project their own demons of insecurities on other because they are afraid to face their own souls.
Take a second and think about your life. Think about the people you know and interact with on a daily basis. Do you not see the same thing I see? There is a man on the corner with that same empty cup, but wearing a fresh and new outfit. Do you donate to the cause? We all go through our day-to-day routines and see the same thing, for the most part. We generally see the same people. We all do the same nothing about it. Even those who have donated millions to various charities have at one point walked passed a begging woman on the street.
Most people drive in their cars, to and from any location. They feel that this is freedom, but it is actually solitary confinement. Those who live in their cars don’t see the motley group of people on the train. They don’t see the sad, hopeless faces of those who work a real dead end job. They have not seen the couple who is happy with taking the bus simply because they are on the bus together, knowing they may never be able to afford a car. They have not experienced the true effect of the media and the industry on society. They all live in a dream world, especially those who claim to be ever so happy with their existences because they don’t want their “haters” to see them is a negative state. We have all participated in portraying ourselves to be someone we are not, this does include the moments in which we say we are “fine” when actually the world is coming down around us. However, we all take it upon ourselves to look at the next person and project our demons onto that person. We see an innocent victim, and we attack. We take our pride and put it before all. Our egos consume us and we must chastise the person that rides the train. We put ourselves on a pedestal, and don’t give the person without a high paying job a chance at love. We create a dream world in our heads and feel that we are actually better than the person that lives in the homeless shelter. It is that same person reading this post, saying to him or herself “I am a God fearing person, and I judge no one.”, just to turn around and judge someone else for living in a messy home.
Some of those reading this have frowned at that last sentence. For what? Who are you to feel some kind of way about how someone else lives? Who are you to think that you are important enough in this world that your opinion really matters? Why are you so insecure about yourself that you have to find the smallest thing about a person that you deem wrong or unfit, and seek to make a debacle out of it all? You are no one. I am no one. We are not more important than the grains of dirt we walk on everyday. We are simply humans, Homo sapiens. We are mammals. We are honestly no greater than the pets we abuse on a daily basis. Yet, we still take our frustrations out on one another and treat one another as if one of us could truly be better than the other. What the hell is wrong with people?
I always wonder, What is really going on? Why do people really behave the way they do? What is going on at home? What has happened in this person’s life? There are many answers, and even more questions where those came from. We as a human race have lost touch with reality. Reality TV does not help as people get to live in their homes and watch others live life for them. I love the fact that I do not drive. I am able to experience the world. I am able to participate in life. I am able to give that smile to a random stranger that needed it that day, instead of writing about it on Facebook. I am able to give up my seat for an elderly person on the bus, instead of riding past him or her and just glancing at the fact that the elderly person has to wait 35 minutes in 100-degree weather because the bus ran early. I am able to see the real looks on people’s faces as they ride the train to that big presentation in the downtown office. I am able to experience the fact that there are people outside of those bank accounts. There are real people in those suits, there are real people in the streets, and there are real people who make money off of pretending to be in the streets. There is more to life than chasing countless amounts of meaning less paper, having sex with as many easily fooled people as possible and going to lavish parties one may or may not be able afford to host. Participating in life and seeing the inside story is more than doing community service every once in a while. Have you had a chat with a homeless person before? Have you taken someone into your home? I am fully aware of the world and what is really going on. Can you honestly say that you are as well? Are you truly participating? Look in the mirror; tell yourself the truth.

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