If you live in London and have ever experienced the madness that constitutes ‘rush hour’, you would agree that it definitely takes its ‘toll’ on a person.
When I sat and thought about it, I had to commend the thousands of people who do it every day. They know what they will undoubtedly encounter on route to their various destinations – a range of smells, expletives, having to stand in overcrowded confined spaces…. yet they do it.
Just like the brave passengers on the tube during rush hour, we know that things would not always be ‘smooth sailing’ as we go through life. We sometimes prepare our minds for the worst i.e. financial troubles, sickness, etc and go through those circumstances without allowing it to defeat us or define us.
So, in a sense, travelling on the tube during those hours helps build character. We learn to tolerate! To make do! We may not like the conditions, but we accept that it won’t always be that way.
“I’d only have to stand till we get to earl’s court, worst case scenario, Hammersmith … or even Acton town” I tell myself – we try to reassure ourselves that that experience won’t be a permanent occurrence.
…it doesn’t have to be…
We can choose to make the best of difficult situations by, for instance in relation to the tube, going to a carriage less likely to be congested (if you notice the front carriages are usually the most congested); we could walk to the next station so you don’t have to be ‘squished’ trying to board on a busy platform or better still, wait out the rush hour and travel outside those hours.
In life, we can choose to face difficult situations head on or find a different approach to dealing with it. Like the tube, we can also choose to pick our battles – if a situation you’re in is contributed to by your actions, then you need to pause and re-evaluate the situation and strategise.
I believe that just like the name ‘rush hour’ suggests (being in a hurry), we sometimes take the same approach to life – always in a hurry to achieve something, get somewhere, etc that we don’t take the time to plan better and approach it better. Why be in a hurry if it means you’re going to be miserable through it? Why not take more time towards achieving whatever it is and at least be happy with the progress you are making or the journey itself?
So the next time you’re on the tube and are caught in ‘rush hour’, smile through it and plan how to prevent being in such a situation in the future.