One of my favorite things to do in Atlanta is ride Marta (Atlanta’s public transportation system). For some people, riding MARTA is a hassle, but for others it is their only way to travel, get to work, go to the doctor, shop for groceries, or get to school. For me, it is more than just a source of transportation. More importantly, it serves as a time where I can truly reflect on my humanity as a part of a diverse and unique community. It is on the Marta where I witness the reality of true suffering and sincere joy that a human can experience in this world, which is the reality that life is not always fair but, also, a more hopeful reality that the small moments in life seem to connect us to one another.
I remember heading home from grad school after one particularly stressful day due to the many homework assignments, papers, and class meetings. I was ready to be at home with my husband, eating dinner, laughing, and relaxing. I sat down in the warm seat on the MARTA train. There was a large crowd of people that night on their way home, to work, to see friends, and the like. All of the people were strangers to me. I kept to myself like everyone else. Then, something quite shocking and unexpected happened. I looked up, and a stranger and I both shared a moment together. Although small and insignificant in length, it was an unforgettable moment because, for an instant, both of our eyes met, and both of us connected. Neither of us would be able to explain the feeling that occurred, but it caused both of us to smile. I felt accepted and important in the brief moment of true happiness where our two stories intersected. I know I will never forget that smile and the way it made me feel. Even though we both parted the train and went on with our day, I felt a part of something, and that brought me real joy. I had a small glimpse of a reality in which people take the other as they are when nothing about that person matters except that they are human just like anyone else, taking time to enjoy those small moments in life when our stories connect to others in community. This is only a small part of my story, but this real human connection will forever be embedded in my mind. It is my dream that these types of connections only increase.
In life-all our stories connect. I look forward to sharing more stories as a new blogger as well as a fellow person of the human race.