There are a number of unspoken rules on my way to and from work on the train.
1. Don't make eye contact with anyone and be silent
2. If you do make eye contact with someone smile gently and look away
3. When boarding the train make your way to the furthest part of the carriage
4. When leaving the train walk confidently as not to annoy your fellow passengers behind
5. On approach to the escalator match the pace of those around you - confidently walk towards the escalator - stand to the left if you want to ride the whole way - walk to the right if you want to pace it out all the way to the top!
This morning a veritable madman interrupted our commute!
1. He looked people directly in the eyes
2. He asked for directions to the Sydney Courthouse
3. He talked out loud to the people around about his uncoming day (Turns out he was going to court after a visit to the hospital! Not a great start - no wonder he wanted a chat!)
4. He then announced to the carriage his desire for trains to play music!
5. "Like this one!" He then started to sing his favourite tune
He had a great voice! So I winked and smiled appreciatively.
Look at that! He got me breaking all the rules too!
Who sets these rules? Who enforces them? Why do they exist? Why is this man viewed as a madman - when he is just trying to communicate and get support he may not find easily in his life? Who classifys him as mad? Why? When is he no longer mad? Why are we not seen as the mad, silent ones, not giving any eye contact?
What rules do you just diligently follow and have no idea of their source? What would it take to break these mysterious rules? How would it feel? What could happen as a result?
A life of play and possibility awaits.