Envisage the nothingness that would exist and contemplate the chaos that would present itself, if every person in the place you live in decided not to leave their bed for an entire day. Every day, each of us depend on other people showing up, so that we can achieve what we hope to within our day-to-day lives.
Even if you believe you are more or less independent, you are not. None of us are. The unsung heroes who stock the shelves of the place you buy your groceries from, the farmers who laboured to yield the fresh produce that you just bought from those shelves; the driver of the bus you take to get to work, the stranger next to you who brightens your day with their warming words; the chef in the kitchen who cooked the feast you just devoured, the bubbly girl who brought your food to you; the people working in the factory that bottle the water you drink, the friendly old man who gives you directions as you drink your water: each of these people and a slew of others work together to ensure a day in your life comes to pass.
In cities we have the perfect chance to lose ourselves amongst the sea of bodies that pull themselves from bed each morning, set their mind to the task of preparing to do whatever it is that they will do to reach the other end of the day, converge upon the pocket of the place they live in that is awaiting their arrival, and then, from there, live through a day in their own shoes. In cities, we are reminded that if it weren’t for every overlooked lion-heart that plays a part in keeping the wheels of the world turning, things would simply not get done.
In Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam, which is home to around eight million people, I spent a day exploring the city and conjuring up visions regarding the lives being lived by many of the people I passed during the day. This outing reminded me that the world never has, nor will it ever revolve around a single human being. And as I feel humbled by my insignificance in the grand scheme of things, it is this insignificance that prompts me to recall just how necessary all of our lives are.
With each other, every time the sun rises and then falls, we create a day on this earth; because we are all in this together.