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It’s a sad day when manners seem to so totally disappear. What even a decade ago would have been frowned on has become common place and acceptable. Sitting on the train on a Saturday I observed a decisive lack of a family presence. While at times it might have bordered on annoying to see children hopping from one area of the car or hearing their voices raised, it is more annoying to witness a seemingly total lack of individuality.

People who once read books on their daily commute or watched the scenery roll by now spend that hour or two on their smartphone. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against this piece of equipment. It had its place. However, when you look around and see a full body of people acting like so many cogs in a machine, it spells out that something’s wrong. Riding the train should be about more than emails, Facebook updates or tweets. It should be about more than a touch screen.

Looking out the window I observed the shadow of an orange and magenta sun setting on iced over fields. Somewhere in the distance I saw a church steeple. I even felt and acknowledged the bump of my train car speeding down the track. Some areas remind me of the great frozen north only with trees added. The car was warm with a light gentle breeze and every now and again there was the sound of a bell going off a few cars behind me.

If a passenger on a train keeps their eyes and ears open many doors open as well. Would I have noticed any of this if my eyes were glued to a smartphone? I highly doubt it. Adventure belongs to the observant person. Solitude and false feelings are the gift of the drifter. Which will you be? It’s your decision. I choose to observe. Shouldn’t you?

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