Mind the gap!!!!. That was the phrase I heard as the train approached the platform at this London underground station. I certainly was not expecting this announcement because that’s not what I am accustomed to. In my native country, a tire on a public vehicle could be flat and you would receive no warning. Worse still, a public transportation vehicle could ran out of gas and all folks aboard would need to either alight and catch the next bus or wait until the apprentice manages to purchase gas from the nearest available station.
It is expected that such avoidable situations will be understood by innocent passengers (smh). So hearing this announcement over the monitors came as a pleasant surprise. I would hear this same precaution whenever the doors of the train flung open. After a few stops, out of curiosity, I looked closer and realized that there was indeed a small gap between the door of the train and the landing level of the platform. It’s even more fascinating that the gap was significantly wider at certain stations. With each stop, people from all walks of life continued to board and unboard the train.
Some seemed to be in a hurry while others appeared as though they had all the time in the world to spare. A few appeared lost and in need of direction. The underground experience can be intimidating for a new comer especially if you need to get on the escalator and catch another train moving in the opposite direction. I concluded that perhaps, the message “mind the gap” was more helpful for new folks than veterans. There will always be new folks on the train so while the pronouncement may appear redundant to some, it could be a life saver for others.
It got me thinking that the phrase “mind the gap” is synonymous with the age old saying “look before you leap”. It is needful to create the habit of “minding the gap” especially in the times we live. While we might be complacent with our patterns of engaging with the world, it is expedient to take a minute to analyze and rethink certain behaviors/attitudes. We might have ignored the “gap” between what we think we know and what really is.
Take for instance you hear that a friend is being accused of theft, before assuming the role of volunteer broadcaster, take time to gather all the facts in order to fill in the gaps. Another instance could be when a bank promises to offer ridiculous returns on investment. Although it sounds like the best news ever, it will be needful to ask all the relevant questions prior to investing. Failure to do so, would most likely result in a “false landing”. Come to think of it, many arguments, rash decisions, wounded friendships, broken marriages and ill business decisions could have been avoided if people took the time to “mind the gap”.
You would either have decided against that marriage or business venture to begin with or you would have chosen to conduct it differently. Sometimes, we ignore the warning signs or we become so comfortable with a situation to the extent that we make costly assumptions. Assumptions are necessary sometimes but one must not make a major decision without “minding all the gaps”. A wise person once said “there is lots to learn and even lots more to unlearn. So tread carefully”. I tend to agree with this wise saying. Before you step out today and make a significant decision, do “mind the gap”.