Sep 24, 2015

2 People Need To Be More Mindful–Stay Present

Public transit, it’s my go to, to get to work and around the city. The one most valuable thing I arm myself with everyday is my patience, my prayers, my tolerance, my patience and my patience. Did I say patience? Yeah well it bears repeating trust me as patience is key to getting through the daily commutes God knows it is desperately needed as mindfulness ("to be aware", "the awakened state of consciousness") seems at times a rare commodity.
Case and point….

One Friday I sat on the train (Bloor-Danforth line) tired after a long day of running from the office to our symposium to back to the office just wishing magically that the train would reach my stop in less than the standard 45/50 minutes. At Castlefrank subway station stop a woman and her children (2 boys) got on. They sat on the seats beside me, one boy at the side of me the other beside the mother on the two seats to my right.  The kids looked tired and dirty as if they had a long day of mad fun rolling in sand. The mother just looked wiped, like she wanted to escape, no one spoke.


The ride was fairly uneventful until one of the boys, the one sitting beside me decided to start dusting out his hair. At first I paid little attention but then my eyes were drawn to the top of his head, it was full of sand and the more he dusted the more it rose up visibly. There were literally plies of sand in his hair and he began to dust more determinately when he realized it was loaded. I waited patiently for the mother to address the issue by telling her son to not dust his hair until they reached home or something of that nature because the sand will go on the people sitting around him. My wait was in vain, after counting to ten I finally said to the little boy, “Please do not dust your hair because you are dusting sand on me.” To the boy’s credit he immediately stopped and I thanked him.


What got me was the mother’s inaction. She did not move, she did not apologize on behalf of her son, she did not even look at me or at him for that matter she simply sat there like a stone. She simply checked out and didn’t seem to care what they did as long as they did not bother her. I took a deep breath, breathe it out and relaxed myself once more and enjoyed the rest of my ride in relative quiet. The boy sat a bit closer to me and was quiet the rest of the way.

As a mother I understand that parenting can be exhausting trust me I did it for 20 years as a single parent of two I get it. However, completely tuning out is unaccepted no matter the degree of exhaustion especially in public because that is exactly when things fall down.
This was just one of many examples of the “adventures” of using public transportation. Below I list just a few other reasons I feel people truly need to exercise some mindfulness and understand that although they are free and autonomous individuals their actions, interactions and inactions affects those around them.
Mindfulness Etiquette:
If you are travelling with a bag or bags, it/they become  an extension of you therefore it would behoove you to ensure that you/your bag(s) are not hitting, jamming, digging and causing discomfort to others around you.
Please cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze. I like many others I am sure, have no desire to be sprayed by your germs, secreting mucus and DNA. I reserve my showers to the privacy of my home and do not indulge in public displays of voyeurism.
When talking on your cell phones please be aware of your volume (how loud you’re speaking), shouting is not a normal sedated conversational tone. I have no desire to be involuntarily pulled into your conversation neither do I want to be privy to your “he said, she said, it said”, tête-à-tête.
Kindly monitor your volume on your personal mp3s, cd players, ipods, iphones etcetera, these are “personal” listing devises meaning it is for ears only and I do not wish to be included without my consent as your taste in music may not be mind. So please take it down a level and keep it to yourself.
Women & Men with long hair (hair period), when using public transit please remember that people are in front of you, beside you and behind you. It is inappropriate to be flicking your hair, and giving someone who is unfortunate enough to be close to you a mouthful of hair.

Just saying…
A little consideration goes a long way.


  1. Too real! Especially here in Nigeria, where people have no chill at all in public transport.
    The other day, I sat next to a dude that decided to play his music out loud like we told him we were interested in the noise. *sigh*

    One really needs to learn to be patient and ask for Grace to be able to deal with people well


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