I enjoy the train and tube rides into and from work, at least most of the time. The one benefit that carries me through is the opportunity and time to just watch. Occasionally I run into one of my neighbors and then we catch up on the way. However usually there is nobody that I know so it is a live, 3-D, emotions play out experience. It would be interesting to know who is acting and who is being real.
Last night is a good example. There was a couple on the tube discussion, negotiating really, their weekend schedule across several weekends in the future. From the body language and rings one could easily conclude that they were married. Everything said they were comfortable. The tilt, away from each other, suggested they were only listening as much as necessary; both were actually thinking of other things. In addition there was the normal tension of someone who works in a job without travel and then has to deal with one who frequently leaves for a week at a time. I wondered as I watched; are they real with each other? Do they really know what the other is thinking?
If this was a single couple, the only observation of this type, then I would probably ignore the conclusions that come with reflection. Yet the scene plays itself out in different ways almost every day. The young guy who is posturing for the cute girl sitting near him will take notice. The person of any age determine to live in their own space by doing the Times crossword. Then there is the busy young executive who cannot or will not take a break. He or she is typing away on their notebook, cramming every possible moment into getting ahead in the firm.
What if we were just our “self”? This would be a step towards being just like God. Remember, “God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” (John 4.24)