Exit133 is about Tacoma

Today on the Bus: The Sacrament of Public Transportation

Some of us ride the bus more than others. Some ride by choice, some out of necessity. Patricia Sully shares her thoughts on why she chooses to ride the bus - the environment, the time to relax or do other things while someone else drives, cost savings... 

"Those are not, however, the reasons I remain a bus commuter. I’m a public transportation junkie not because it makes pragmatic sense so much as because it helps me act a little bit less like a jerk. And it gives me a lot of good stories. But mostly the being-less-of-a-jerk thing."

As we enter the season when we're supposed to be thinking about what we're thankful for, and about what we can do for others, Sully's meditations on why she chooses public transportation - and on what she gets from spending time around other people on the bus - seem well-timed.




This essay has a provocative title because of its use of the word “sacrament.” I read the whole essay, in the context of the blog from which it originated, and it is there that the writer’s use of the term “sacrament” does make sense. Because the blog where I read this essay, and have read many other essays, proposes a point of view that man should regard himself and regard others without any relation to God. If my interpretation is true, then the use of the word “sacrament’ was intended as derision, whether used in rebellion, or because of ignorance. A sacrament is a Christian rite, ordained by Christ, that is held to be a means, a sign or symbol of a spiritual reality.

When the writer of this essay proposes a man-centered social gospel, collectivism, that point of view—conformity—stands as the polar opposite of the Christian view—nonconformity—transformation through adherence to timeless principles, thinking about invariable generalities concerning what is good, true, and beautiful.

What that conformist writer, and the others who promote mindless adherence to this year’s god contribute to society is merely a world without any basis for standards, without hope, and without any concern for the future.

Here is a sample of the essay writer’s God-forsaken reality:
“I partake in the sacrament of public transportation with my fellow commuters: we join together in our collective inability to change the unchangeable, relinquish control, and go for a ride.”

In August , 2010 I wrote an essay titled, “The Relevance of a 16-cent Bus Passenger: The Promise of Existentialism,” which is a true-life account my experience riding Tacoma buses. This is my conclusion: Even though I live in a world that at times is despairing, I don’t have to accept it, I don’t have to identify with it, and I don’t have to like it.

November 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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