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The railway and the heart



The other day, I went into town from the station—as usual, the ticket machine was broken and the ticket office closed.


At the other end, in town, were a group of security guards—like nightclub bouncers—who acted as ticket inspectors.


I asked for a ticket and they directed me to the queue, mostly secondary school students.


The security guard who worked down the line came to me and said, “Since it’s a first offence, we’ll just take your details, but normally it would be a £100 fine.”


I said, “No it won’t—because the ticket machine is broken and…”


But before I could say that the ticket office was closed he said, “It’s not my machine.”


This infuriated me, because it’s a manipulative non-answer. In fact, because he was employed by the rail company it is his machine by extension—so he had denied responsibility for what he was responsible for.


I just said, with great insistence, that I would not give my details—for I had done nothing wrong.


He moved away, and I noticed his older colleague. So I said, “Are you in charge?” and he said, “No”. I said, “The ticket machine is broken and the office closed at station X again.” And he said, “Oh we know.” So I said, “Then why I am detained?” And he said, “You’re not detained.”


So I just walked off, like all the school kids could walk off if they were assertive—but the older man said, “You’re on CCTV,” and the first man, without conviction, “Come back!”.


These men are machine men, they do not see anything.


They know there is no way to buy a ticket from the station, yet they treat me as a criminal nonetheless.


They know my voice is sincere, from its tone, and yet they speak to me as if I am a liar.


They have only the routine, they run the routine to gain control—even though they know there is a station where it is impossible to buy a ticket.


Even then, they cannot see that I will buy a ticket but I will not sign my name to a list that is an admission I intended to be a criminal and travel without a ticket as a conscious decision.


But still they say, “You’re on CCTV.”


These men are only like technology, only machines to gain compliance—they run routines like “it’s not my machine” to manipulate you.


We live in a heartless world, a technological world.


But to know the heart is not to be soft-hearted.


This is what it means to know the heart: policemen only see types, social workers only see individuals—but to know the heart is to understand that there are only types and individuals.


This is reality—but most people are asleep.


They only see a type, or they only see an individual—so they are too soft, or they are too hard.


Never do they see reality—and that is why there is injustice in the world.


Listen, the train company puts up posters that say “buy a ticket, there’s no excuse”.


But their machines are always broken, and the ticket office always closed.


If you say “no excuse” then make sure there is no excuse—before you tell others what to do, mend your own house.


First, run a railway where people can buy tickets, then tell them there is “no excuse”—until then, you cannot make that demand (for there is, in fact, an excuse).


And they do not even enforce their own demands—for they let you buy tickets on the train. I see it every day.


And they do not fine people straight away, just put your name on a list, because they are feminised; just like “you’re on CCTV”, “you’re on a list”, “we’re watching you”.


In truth, this railway is badly run—it hires thugs and liars at the station, and its own house is in disorder.


Remember, the heart is not soft or hard—the heart sees, the heart knows.


You cannot run a railway without a heart.

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