The inspiration to writing all about this, probably a lot of things, but one big source of inspiration is from the rap group Blue Scholars and their song "Joe Metro."
In my previous life as a car driver up to just one year ago, I didn't really get it.
Yeah, I got that there was a diversity of people on the bus with interesting stories, but I didn't gain any appreciation for any of the lyrics of the song. They didn't mean shit to me. But now I just find that they mirror my current experience as a Metro rider to the tee.
This line in particular struck me.
"Appreciating God's design
Reminds me of a smile in the back of my memory
Wonder if I'll see her again
Will she remember me?
"I'm not tryin' to holler, I swear. I'm just weary of the way we hop a ride
And just sit there and stare.""
Lot of people you come across, and yet you can barely talk to them.
It's like a space full of individual social barriers, and it takes "something random" to beat down all those barriers. "Something random" being something that we can all stare at: it could be some woman who who will ask you to donate to the homeless without even looking you in the eye. It could some enterprising hustler who will coax you into a game of moving cups. It could be some really loud teenagers. It could be my obviously-expensive bicycle wheels. It could even just be a baby.
Just "something random" becomes a way to break down all social barriers and a place of instant shared experience and instant conversation.