Torontonians are busy, but very lonely people!
I love Toronto’s european vibe, but sometimes the urban alienation is painfully obvious.
Here is an observation of such social experience in Toronto…
Four cyclists arrive at a red light within 4 seconds of each other. They are all centimeters away from each other, feet on the ground waiting for a green light. They are closer than if they were in a busy dance floor. I mean cheek to cheek!
The interesting observation is that for 30 seconds they said…nothing…to each other. Nothing about cycling in Toronto, no anti-smog or anti-car comments, no weather complaints, not even “nice bike helmet Lady”! Instead, they stood staring at the traffic light, cheek to cheek, in silence awaiting the resumption of the race. This is common on elevators, but should it be this way?
Maybe they didn’t think it was worth it to share a human moment because the light would change and contact would be lost.
My conviction is that Toronto is lonely enough that we should seize all opportunities for human interaction – no matter the number of seconds.
The 4 cyclists at a red light could have had a respite commuting from busy jobs to empty condos, but it was a silent, cold, steel elevator vibe!
Let’s use words when we have 30 seconds, cheek to cheek, with a fellow Torontonian commuter.
Basics. Make eye contact. Say hi.
Let’s make a small change starting with eye contact when someone is in our 3-foot personal bubble zone.
Let’s call it COMMUTER COMMUNITY!
If you don’t live in Toronto, then maybe you’ve gain an insight.
If you do, the maybe you’ll grasp this and make a small change in the big, cold smoke on these hot August days.