A few nights ago, in a taxi zooming through the streets of Port of Spain, I was lost in my mind taking in the drama and the noise of the city. I love town. It’s chaotic, filthy, unpretentious and alive. On pause for a few seconds at a red light, I stared at this vagrant who was very intensely staring at his own reflection in the glossy window of an establishment. He was standing there with a sac over his back that I can only assume was filled with his worldly possessions and treasures. I wondered what he was thinking. Was he looking at who he is now and wondering how he got there? Was he wishing he could retrace his steps back to where he used to be? Or was he just high out his fucking mind looking at his reflection thinking it was another man and trying to intimidate him? Of course I will never know which it is, but I felt in some way that I could relate to that vagrant.
Shouldn’t we all have that moment (or several) where we stop and look at ourselves and evaluate our lives? How did I get here? Where am I going? Am I happy with who/what I have become? I believe these moments of reflection and questioning are paramount to our development as we go along on this journey – for those of us looking forward to evolving that is. Some of us prefer to use the mirror solely to examine the wrinkles of worry that have accumulated over time.
As we continue to deny ourselves these moments of pause do we risk becoming zombies, going about our routines void of any thirst and love for life, thereby condemning our entire species to non-existence? As it is, the degeneration has already begun. We spend so much time teaching our children to have discipline, compete, work hard, study, have manners, say this, do that but we never put enough emphasis on laughter, love, personal growth, caring for others and taking time to just do nothing but talk and develop their imagination. In some ways this works for the benefit of mankind, we now have more doctors, architects, engineers, artists, etcetera to propel us closer to the futuristic world we all had in mind since The Chrysalids. But now, there is also more violence, crime and suicide. Have we taught ourselves to sacrifice happiness for stringency? We are constantly going at a pace with our schedules and plans and plans to make plans.
If there were no red lights to make us stop, would we?
Just some thoughts.
Your aspiring traffic conductor,
Who said anything was wrong with moving at a snail's pace anyway?