I’m standing right in front of a speeding train. As it swiftly zooms away I briefly catch a glimpse of the passengers through the windows. Some are talking, others laughing or sleeping while others seem to be far away in thought. At the train station, some travelers are walking in all directions, others yelling their goodbyes while waving hysterically at the departing train. Noises of sadness and joy can be heard from all around me. Some travelers are hugging and crying, saying their goodbyes. Others are finally reuniting. I see a couple dashing towards each other with laughter and tears in their eyes. Two older ladies seem to be sharing a year long hug. Business travelers are hastily walking to meetings. At the corner against the wall a rugged man is playing “Redemption Song” on his guitar and singing at the top of his voice. His guitar case is wide open on the floor by his feet. In my mind’s eye, the year replays itself.
The train station is where it all begins. A freshly out of college graduate arrives at the train station eager to set about his new journey. After choosing his destination, he pays the ticket agent, grabs his suitcase and makes his way to the waiting area. It is so much like making a resolution at the start of the year. One chooses goals they would like to attain, how they intend to achieve them and how much time and effort they are willing to put into those goals.
The train is the journey we all embark on at the beginning of the year. From January 1 to the year’s end, time continues to move forward just like the train.Those on board attempt to make a difference with the time they have been granted. They embark on life’s journey their luggage bags packed with new year’s resolutions and great aspirations to accomplish. They see an opportunity and strive to make the best of it. Some of the passengers are successful ripping great benefits from their hard work. Others may loose their way alighting at the wrong stop or loosing their patience and throwing in the towel. A few may fail to equip themselves with the appropriate tools. They are unable to complete the journey successfully. Instead, they pick up ideas and strategies that will help to properly arm them for their next journey.
The passengers are those individuals on board the train, ready for the ride. They take their seats, their luggage stored away for whenever they will need them. These people have already made their resolutions. They are ready to get started on them.
The bystanders are those standing around watching everything happening around them. While the travelers file into the train with their bags over their shoulders, the bystanders watch them from a bench at the train station. In life’s journey the bystanders are those that watch others making their resolutions and then working towards them. They may simply be watching for amusement with no desire to plan for their own success. They could also be watching their mentors and those who are more successful with the intention to mimic desirable habits to help them on their journey.
The busker at the street corner is not discouraged by his meager livelihood. He sings his heart out and smiles at passersby whether they offer him alms or not. He has learnt to make do with the little he has. He appreciates whatever he receives and returns to the train station everyday where he shares the one thing that he knows how to do well. He is a dreamer. He may not have the means to purchase a ticket and board the train right away but he knows that one day the sun will shine on him and he too will be on his way.
It is a new year after all. We have made it to the train station. It is the time to choose where we want to go and commence the journey. We all start out at the same time but our destinations are as many and as varied as the stars in the sky. Rather than remain an audience to those that act on their dreams, why not join those at the train station, determine your destination, purchase your ticket and get on board the train. If you cannot afford a ticket just yet, how about getting to the train station and deciding where you want to go. It is a new year, a fresh start, a clean slate.