I’m in carriage 4106. Sunny Tuesday morning. I am relaxed with my headphones blocking out most of the outside sounds. Two ladies in the seat in front of me have not stopped talking since I boarded the train. They speak a foreign language, fast, passionate, South American. The lady in black coat crosses herself every minute or so. The lady in red coat nods a lot. They are looking each other in the eyes as they speak. They know each other well. The lady in black coat raises her eyebrows often. The lady in red coat smiles. Her lips are an incessant sequence of opening and closing. They speak fast. They know each other well. They are sharing from the heart. What are they talking about? My mind tells me that if I were able to understand their language, I would probably realise how trivial their conversation was. Instead, it’s a mystery. And I continue to observe their world from the silence of my world. The world around them is blocked out by their intent to share and focus on listening. My world is blocked in by my noise cancelling headphones.
Here we are in our worlds. A weekday morning, a whole day still ahead of everyone in carriage 4106, everyone plugged into their own world of thoughts, iPods, iPads and other smart toys and realities they entail.
What are they all thinking? What am I thinking?
Our thoughts rule our worlds. And while the train may carry us all to the same destination, as soon as we alight from the train, our thoughts steer us into our worlds. Sometimes we overlap. Sometimes we clash. And sometimes we listen to each other and make worlds together.
At other times we just observe one another amazed as I was today that although we may share the same time and place, we are worlds apart. We often observe our own lives as if they were one of these worlds, static, take them as they come while shutting everything else out. I took my headphones out of my ears in order to hear what language the ladies in front of me were speaking.
Similarly, to hear our world of thought, meet new worlds and bring our world closer to where we want to be we need to unplug ourselves from the train of thought we are used to and listen to what we would normally block out. Listen to our heart beats. Listen to our feelings. Answer simple questions: “How am I doing? What am I thinking?”
The train may carry us all to the same destination but the way we listen, interpret and act on our thoughts truly determines the world we’re living in.