Traveling in the metro has been so difficult for the longest time. I’m not even bringing up the traffic problem here. In times of high demand, public utility vehicles are few, and our mass transit system is ineffective. These require the majority of us to leave before dawn only to arrive at work sweaty and, worse, late.
Despite our difficulties, the pandemic-related lockdowns had a positive impact on the transportation industry. It was a much-needed recharge that may help make up for any errors made by both the government and us, the people.
We appear to have made very little progress, if any, two years into the pandemic. You only need to look around you to discover the solutions. Traffic is particularly bad in large cities (if not worse than the pre-pandemic situation). And the problems facing commuters have gotten worse.
But you’ve experienced this ride numerous times. In actuality, you go the same path each day. You switch on the media during your journey, whether it’s talk radio, music, the news, or an audiobook.
You arrive at work, go about your business, and then reverse the procedure.
It might seem robotic. It can even come off as pitiful. But it’s healthy for both your body and mind!
This is why:
Our brains find safety in this pattern because commutes neatly organize our everyday behaviors. Why? The human genome contains profound structural instructions.
We get predictability from it. We are less susceptible to threats when we can forecast the future because we won’t be as unprepared for it.
This is why participating in rituals has evolved into a fundamental human impulse that is ingrained in everything from our daily commutes to our religious services and school schedules.
Initiation and Closure
Our home and professional identities are two of the most important selves we have. In those two areas, the majority of us are not entirely different people. It is appropriate that they frequently call for various ways of acting, thinking, and reacting.
We can avoid burnout by separating those two aspects of ourselves, and creating appropriate boundaries between them. We “turn on” our professional identities the moment we exit our automobiles and enter the office, and we do the same when we leave and get back into our cars.
We frequently remember our goals during those lengthy or brief periods of time on the route to and from work. Whether it’s to sustain ourselves or our loved ones, bring about change and a better society, or follow our passions, we all work for a cause.
The reason we cram ourselves into a car, train, or bus every day is to fulfill our purpose. Our existential propane ignites at that precise instant.
It is made clear why we are here. We’re here to work hard and help. We add value by using our special skills. We succeed and support others in succeeding.
Our ability to reconnect with the many reasons why we work throughout our commutes will lead to higher levels of productivity and job satisfaction.
If you’re smart, you won’t show up unprepared for a meeting. Your PowerPoint and speech are both well-practiced. You’ve allocated time for planning and practice, so you’re intellectually and emotionally ready for whatever occurs.
Similar to how your morning commute helps you get ready for the day. You might be preparing for your appointment with Ronald or Regina and planning responses to their retorts while you drive, ride, or stroll.
You may be considering the items on your to-do list and which ones to complete first. Or perhaps you’re considering how to present a fresh idea to your management.
Ways to reduce commuters’ stress in the street
Fair enough, the government has taken steps to assist passengers. Despite our disputes, the MRT-3’s “Libreng Sakay” program exists. Even though it only serves a small portion of the commuter population, it has helped some commuters with their fare-related problems.
Then there is the service contracting for public utility vehicles like city buses. All EDSA Carousel buses and, soon, PUVs from other routes should be able to ride for free on these. And with these, we assumed that commuters’ lives would be made easier, yes?
New Policies to resolve street issues
The new number-coding regulations were put forth without any concrete plans to improve our public transportation system. One reason individuals acquire vehicles is that they have no other option given the state of our public transportation and mass transit infrastructure.
In fact, it has been repeatedly shown that individuals with money will only buy more “coding” cars. Even worse, if the ban does not apply to their last digits, they might even use these many automobiles. The poorest of the poor are left to fend for themselves while this is going on.
All of these point to the same conclusion: Our rules are either poorly thought out or overly car-focused. As if the organizations tasked with caring for commuters aren’t even satisfying the target audience. And for the love of God, can we start bringing in professionals in transportation and municipal planning to clean this up?
But there is a glimpse of optimism. We are hoping that the new administration will start taking serious steps to end these issues once and for all.
Commuting is a comforting balm for keeping the balance between who we are and what we do, preparing for the latter, and for understanding our purpose and place. The drive, ride, or walk we used to hate so much was crucial in getting us awake and oriented to our regular jobs. We don’t have to travel for work.
They are things we ought to do.
Therefore, the process of traveling from here to there and back again — of becoming this, and then, that, and then, this again — is worthwhile experiencing, whether you are new to the world of commuting or a grizzled veteran. Traveling is therapeutic. After all, the journey is what really matters.
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