I watch them go by, all these people who are oblivious to the world.
They don't turn to see the bird who flew inside the train station.
They don't hear someone asking if anyone is sitting in that empty seat.
They don't see their friend waving at them from the other side of the street.
They don't hear the joyful bird songs that erupt on warm days.
They turn up the volume when babies cry and people talk.
They are afraid, these people. They are afraid of what thoughts and emotions will rush to the surface if they are quiet for long enough.
I understand. I am this person. I plug in my headphones, I scroll on my phone, I play games on my tablet. These things have a time and a place. Music can be calming, encouraging, invigorating. Podcasts and audiobooks can delight and inform. Games are fun. Talking to other people is good.
But at what cost? How much longer will we keep silencing the world around us and the world inside of us and just focus on that little glowing screen? Why do we feel this need to constantly surround ourselves with noise? What happened to face to face conversations; games played on a table; looking around us while taking a walk; creating something physical with our hands?
I have no answers, and I am as guilty of this as anyone. But maybe it would just take a few of us to decide to close everything down every once in a while and do something different.