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Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Sheep on The Train

The woman got on the train and slid right into the bathroom. "Oh okay," I thought to myself, "So that's how you do it." One stop later, about 8 minutes away, I got off the train and saw her sliding out from the bathroom, getting off on the same station as I did.

She was avoiding to pay the fare. I know because I was tempted to do so, and because there was literally no bathroom activity can be heard throughout the trip. She has her reason to do it, and I have my reason to not do it. And trust me, it was very, very tempting to do it.

I don't hide in the bathroom, but just like this afternoon my fingers would hover on the phone screen, tempted to not hit the purchase button until a conductor made their round to check the tickets. "It's only one stop away," I would say to myself, or "It's only $4.50".

When it's the longer, more expensive route, I argued that the money can be spent elsewhere. I argued that I made little money, anyway. I argued that the government made more than I do. I argued that my measly fare doesn't make a difference.

But then I would think of how inconvenient and embarrassing if I somehow got caught. I would think of how shameful it would be to be a part of the problem that bleed the benefit of public transportation, when I have the means to not do it.

And my pride, my haughty stubborn pride, would yell at me in such disdain and scorn: "Don't even think of using goods or service that you are not willing to pay. You are better than that." I usually hit the pay button pretty damn fast after.

What matters, what shows our true color is never about what we do when authority is around. It is about what we do when there is no one there to judge or govern us. One's integrity and moral values will always be intact, with or without anyone to witness it.

Among the noise and the cacophony, the question that we should always ask ourselves is what kind of person we want to be. If our reasoning is removed from our action, if the action becomes a mere black and white bare fact, will we still be ok with it?

The temptation to dodge the law, to break the rules, will always be there. A part of it is for the thrill, the "F*ck the authority" kind of feeling. A part of it is because we somehow feel we're above the rule. It's a stupid rule, anyway.

I learned that there is always a reason why a certain rule is implemented. A rule usually becomes a rule only when people abuse it, like the ruling that it's illegal for cops to have sex with the people they detained. You'd think it's common sense.

Or on the lighter side, the reason why Reese's Peanut Butter has to state "Contain Peanuts" is because every food product has to state the allergen it may contain. It looks stupid but it's there for a reason, and it'll be too confusing to make exceptions.

I am aware there are people that have to break the laws because there is no other way, and I honestly can't speak on their behalf. But for those who can afford to follow the rule, why not do so? Especially if it's only a matter of comfort or ease.

I believe that to have a good government everybody has to be involved and take part of it. There is no point of dodging the fare, for instance, on the pretext of you already paid too much tax because the deficit will only affect the budget and consequently your tax.

Everything is connected to one another. It is unwise to approach an issue rebeliously with only seeing one side and not the whole connecting picture, or without understanding why the said law/rule was put in place. 

I know, right? What a sheep. But as I don't need to spend the trip in fear that I will get caught, and I also don't need to go on a guilt trip thinking that I took advantage of the system when I absolutely don't need to, I think being a sheep is just fine.

#Pride, #Integrity, and #CommonSense y'all.

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