Grateful for a Home to go Back to Each Night

Commuting home on an evening in a city like Singapore the temptation can be to try and ignore the fellow travellers on the bus or metro and go back into your shell. On with the ipod and try to forget you are surrounded by people.

Last night I was not in the mood for doing anything on the bus making my way home. Looking around I noticed that about half of the bus were migrant workers, phones glued to their ears phoning home to Bangladesh, Myenmar or wherever. They were all going back to makeshift lodgings, one room with many people sleeping inside, most often no air conditioning, up early the next day for more long work in the sun. All of this thousands of miles away from their homeland and the people most dear to them. Maybe ten or twenty years of their precious life would be spent this way

Reflecting on all this as I focused outward on my fellow passengers my journey home became a meditation on empathy and compassion for them, and a sense of “Gee, I’m glad I’ve got a home to go back to each night, and my loved ones close at hand.”

Seems like noticing who you are commuting with can be worthwhile!

© Toby Ouvry 2011, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

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