“The Commute”

PEDESTRIANS BICYCLES AND CARS CROWD A BRIDGE INTO VANCOUVER

So many people view commuting as negative waste of time, while others really enjoy their commute for different reasons.

If you commute for up to one hour each way it might not seem such a chore while others walk 5 minutes to work and back, still others commute on average two hours each way.

A lot of it depends on circumstances, if you have a family you might not like being away for so many hours while others see the commute as a time to wind down from work ready for family mode.  If you are trying to progress your career the commute might help, with today’s modern technology including mobile Internet and laptops it just means you can put in a couple of extra bonus hours on route at no extra expense on your own time.

Fundamentally it is all about finding the positives in commuting for example downtown-sao-paulo-subway-crowd-commuteperhaps you can’t afford to live near work so you purchase a house that is a commute away, so you must think of the fact that you are doing it for a reward, the house of your own.  Ultimately commuting is about choices and working towards a future.  If our commute is just about paying bills there are other ways to do that nearer to home, so ultimately a commute is about progress, moving forwards (pardon the pun) whether it be career or financially.  Therefore a commute is considered a sacrifice or means to an end, a commute is your declaration to the world “I am upwardly mobile”  once your financial goals or career goals are met you will usually pick and choose from there, but for now you are willing to make that sacrifice to achieve.

images (4)Fundamentally a commuter could be considered selfish for their own progression or family unit.  After all a commuter isn’t helping the environment and he/she is taking a job from someone that actually lives in the area, also forcing them into the same boat to become a commuter, affecting the environment further and adding an extra two hours to their working day and so on and so forth, the knock on effect is far reaching.

images (9)In a perfect world of no high speed commuting or motorways everyone could live and work in their own area, reducing the damage to our environment considerably and the time spent away from family considerably also.  No one  would be fighting for jobs to such a degree in their own area and forced to commute.  In fact quite the opposite, it might mean less people applying for each job and more chance of employment in your chosen sector.  In this same perfect world your children could attend images (5)higher education within your own town and as the town expanded with the population growth so too would their chances of a job and home in the same area as their family, encouraging closer community at large perhaps less crime and more quality of life.

But we don’t live in a perfect world, we live in a modern, progressive, evolving culture, one that is much closer to perfection than it ever was in those backwards simpler times.

So for now, we shall continue to commute, go with the flow, think inside the box, adapt to our environment and do as we are expected to do and progress ourselves while our society strains at the edges and frays.

This isn’t an accusation at any individual, I’ve done my fair share of commuting in my time, it’s a look at how much our society has changed from something as common place as “the commute”.

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Perhaps society at large needs to change?  I have often thought, what if
there was a simple way for employers to be able to employee swap between towns?  for example, a man works in Manchester but lives in Leeds, while another man works in Leeds but lives in Manchester, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to swap the two identical jobs employees enabling the employee a life without “the commute”?

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The problem isn’t that it couldn’t be done, the problem is that our society is no longer about community i.e. the greater good of mankind, it’s about competition.  We are competing in every aspect of our lives now e.g. keeping up with the Joneses; school; leisure e.g. sports; work e.g. meeting targets, global markets are all about competing e.g. school stats; stock exchanges; currency values.  So, employers want the best and id the best isn’t in their town they don’t care how far you have to travel they want you.

We travel away from home to go to the best university for our chosen degree, leaving family, community and free board to begin lives sacrificing boarding costs for the best university (or so we hope) so that we can get the best job.

images (8)London has a population of 7.6 million people and more than a million people commute into London for work every day, that is approximately 1/7th of the population of London commuting into London every day.  That means that 1 million people living in London are either commuting out of London for work everyday or they are unemployed in London.

Is there a lesson to be learned?  The lesson is quite simple really.  Society might actually be broken, the way we look at life might not be working, humanity might be going backwards not forwards and we might actually be harming ourselves and not bettering at all.

If society is broke how can we fix it?  This is another blog altogether or perhaps a number of blogs, either way too big to handle and balance solely upon the back of “the commute”.

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