Yesterday, a 40-45 minute train journey home took me 95 minutes. I was pretty angry, unsurprisingly. Particularly when I heard the explanation for the delays: “one seriously ill passenger at Westminster station who cannot be moved” and as a result, trains on the line in particular were not moving… either direction.
While it sounds rather unsympathetic of me, at least I was quietly frustrated (save for messaging my best friend to lament on my plight). My fellow commuters were visibly, audibly and physically furious. Every time the announcer offered the mandatory apology and repeated the singular reason for the delays, a collective sigh-tut crescendoed and people got more and more irate.
One person disrupted the commute of thousands. Just one.
When I calmed down and started to really think about what was going on, willing myself to find the silver lining in my situation and to humanise the individual as more than just words floating through the stale air of an overcrowded train platform, I wondered how they must be feeling? No one wants to suddenly be taken ill anywhere, let alone on their way to or from a destination surrounded by a number of [impatient] strangers.
If it were me personally, I would probably be quite scared in addition to feeling bad for causing such a fuss. Then the phrase came to me; “the power of one” and I thought about all of the times I had seen, read or heard of one person making a significant difference – whether good or bad and it reminded me of purpose.
I once thought I knew what my purpose was very clearly. I’m not so sure anymore but the general premise remains the same – to make some sort of positive impact. I’ll keep going until it’s fulfilled.