Imagine a big busy train station you pass by every day on your way to work.
It always seems to be filled with a continuous stream of thousands of people walking past, hurrying to get to their destinations. It feels as if the stream is always there, no matter what you do. Every time you are there – the stream is also there. If you decide to stay home one day, it makes no difference whatsoever. The stream is still going to be there. Every single day.
They are all individuals, just like you. If each and every one single one of them decides to stay home one day, no one is going to be at the train station. You will be able to hear a pin drop, where normally all you would hear is a big loud buzz – the buzz of the stream. It consists of thousands of individuals, making individual decisions every day. Every day they set their alarm, get out of bed and decide to leave their houses and pass by the train station in order to reach their destinations.
They are not some big static group, completely autonomous from you – individual being. They are not the many, the mass, all the people, “everyone else – but you”. They are all individuals, just like you.
Their individual actions, together with your individual actions, form all of our collective behavior. Their individual actions, together with your individual actions, is what creates our world. Your individual actions literally mean the world.
This blog post is inspired by early mornings at Utrecht Central Station in 2012.