I was on the way home via train yesterday. Detoxing from a full day at the office, as you do. I’d noticed that the lady sitting next to me had looked at me over her shoulder a few times. This was after I had moved my baggage from the seat next to me so that she could sit down, with her own baggage. I initially questioned what she was trying to take in so discretely, attentively, but quickly dismissed the thought as “none of my business”.
Later on in our journey, she asked if she could show me an article that had clearly grabbed her attention whilst she was sifting through her newspaper. Curiously, I agreed. Number one, beause a stranger on a London train, dressed similar to me, looking as though she had shared a simliar day to me, actually had something to say that didn’t include the weather or train delays. Secondly, because I wondered what on earth could be so important that she needed to share it with a complete stranger. I refrained from jumping out of my seat in pure intrigue over these considerations and casually leaned over toward the newspaper, as directed. The article had an image of a female actor attached, Tanya Moodle. The headline quote captured, read….
“ I’d always been too busy being black to be a feminist”….
I thought on these words for a few seconds
….and then nodded in agreement.
Then I realised that I didn’t actially know what I was agreeing to, yet.
So to make up for the empty and perhaps generic and pressured response, I calmly elaborated. With words.
“One day, I’d like to think that I (we) will be in a position where we can say, ‘I’d always been too busy being Human to be black, feminist, or anything else for that matter’ “. To which we both passionately agreed, with stronger head nodding and heartfelt hums. The pleasant feeling of validation probably sat above my head like a halo. But I digress.
Once I had the seat beside me unoccupied again, I pondered on what being human meant to me personally, and whether I was too busy doing and being other things than simply being human. I carried on the thoughts…
What things am I busying myself with right now?
Are they more significant than being human?
What does being human actually mean?
Do I waste time prioritising the wrong things ahead of being human?
How much time do I spend re-evaluating the angles or perspectives I choose to approach life from?
Am I regularly re-adjusting my thoughts and actions, as I come into contact with new experiences?
This is my first post for 2016 and I am contemplating that there maybe no coincidence at all, involved in this fact.
So whether you are the lady that sat beside me on train, or a complete stranger – female or male, a mother, father, Christian, Jewish, CEO or multi-professional, Black, White, Asian – I take this encounter as a reminder that we should never be too busy to be human. In fact, being human should probably feature as top of the list. And then once we are brave enough to scrap the lists, maybe being human will be something we just “do”. Allowing the rest to seamlessly follow.
…that is of course, once we have figured out what being human really means to us.
Enjoy the adventure and be sure to let me know how you get on x