Sunday, May 14, 2006

Once upon a jeepney ride

When people ride in jeepneys, they seem to always look at the road - the journey to wherever they are going. I have long tried to understand this compulsion. I am also guilty of this. Why crane your neck till it aches to see a road you usually already know so well? It may be that we are always anticipating and watching and eager to reach our destination.

But it could also be because we are uncomfortable with complete strangers. So we would rather look outside and hurt our necks to see something familiar rather than connect with these people we don't know.

This is a shame because jeepney rides are such a venue for insight on humans and their behavior. It is amazing how much you can know when you really see and not just look at people. When you really see a human as a person - I realize that no one is ugly or repulsive. It is only when our perspective is colored with prejudice, intolerance, stereotypes and even past experiences that we categorize people into beautiful and ugly.

I realized that when I took the time to see and dwell on a person, I can see that this is a person just like me - as special as I see myself. I experienced this when I subtly stare at people during jeepney rides and I dwell on their facial features. The face is the window to our soul. Our every feature tells a story. So when you see a person's physical appearance as just a manifestation of his inner being - you can't say that they're ugly or beautiful, but one thing's for sure - they are real.

Of course, we will always be partial to those who look better than the rest - as perhaps we were born with a natural aesthetic sense - but that doesn't give usa right to alter our attitudes and behavior according to a person's physical appearance. Wow, all these in just one jeepney ride haha at least i got something out of that vomit-inducing ride home.


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