Look at each other
September 20th, 2022
I am a fan of public transport. I like to use the subway, although I prefer buses with beautiful landscapes.
I miss subway cars with people reading. Now everyone is looking at the mobile phone. I remember that near the Ciudad Universitaria, in Mexico City, young people were always reading on the Metrobus and in the Metro. Those who did not, it was because they were with their mate, cuddling.
A few days ago, I saw a couple with beautiful curly hair, like that of people of Caribbean origin. She had her head on his shoulder. Shortly after, a guy did the same on the shoulder of the young woman accompanying him. Getting off the subway car, I hugged Peni. We kissed. Then an older woman asked us how long we had been together. Immediately, she turned to an even older man, hugged him, and kissed him. They had been together for four years.
Other people's happiness is contagious.
I like to pay attention to the happy people I see on public transport or the street. That's something I like about New York. In other cities in the United States, people always use their cars to get around. There is little contact. They do not see the worried, happy, sad faces of the ones around them.
For decades it has been insisted that American individualism is cultural. That argument is bogus. Harlem is proof to the contrary. Here, people walk, look at each other, talk, and play with each other. Alexis de Tocqueville pointed out in the 19th century that American democracy was founded on "the spirit of association," not individualism.
Let's not fool ourselves. The discourse of individualism only suits those who prefer that ordinary people not associate. To be a better citizen, you have to look at the faces of others, not isolate yourself in the car or on your mobile phone. Let's look at each other again with empathy.