Making the Decision for Change
Over the past few months I have made the decision that I need to make some changes in my life. Living in our contemporary American society, we live very selfish lifestyles without even thinking about it. I was stuck in traffic on the interstate with countless other cars crawling as far as the eye can see. I was upset at the thought of how so much of the congestion is created by cars that only carry a single person.
As I sat there stuck in my own car, I felt as if I had to do things in my life that would improve my effects on my life and the community. Austin has a train that just started this year, and it is very sad to see that so few people use it to commute to work. I am capable of taking the train because I am in good health, and it travels within a relative distance between my work and home. There was little reason for me not to take the train for my commute.
Overcoming the Hesitation
One of the reasons that most people do not take the train is because it takes away some of their freedoms that come with driving their own car. Each person’s schedule can be changed to go with their immediate needs, but public transportation requires more planning and following the official schedule. This is probably one of the largest contributing factors into why public transportation is not heavily supported in the Western United States. Without the support, the systems cannot be expanded to serve the people better. It is a sad cycle.
Before I lived in Rome, I had almost no experience using public transportation, especially not on my own. The community I lived in was on the far east side of town outside the walls, and my school was on the far West side of town. This commute required transfers between 2 buses, the tram, a mile walk throughout, and that was just one way. I quickly learned to memorize the routes of the different modes of transportation. While it may sound like a big hassle for many people, it was actually simple. I could cover different cities quickly and efficiently in Europe without my own vehicle.
I find the train here to be very clean and spacious, but there is still plenty of space left for more people to join. I hope that more people choose to use the wonderful resource we have offered to us. One of my biggest hesitations was the changing of buses with the additional walking, but I am young and very capable of walking. I need more activity because I spend most of my day at a desk anyways. My commute also becomes productive with my laptop and the train’s wifi or a book.
A Need for More Discipline
I don’t know how long or often I will take it, but I know that this needs to become part of my commute more often. It pushes me to be a better person because it forces me to overcome my selfishness in my time and schedule. For those of you that know me well, discipline is a large part of my life. I believe that our current generations lack discipline, including us Christians. The Gospels call us to a spirit of discipline and self-control, but sadly most of us downplay its importance in our lives. This simple change will hopefully help contribute to making me a better person. More small changes to come.