Standing in a queue shows how civilised we are... mostly

PHILOSOPHERS have spent aeons trying to figure out what could possibly bring us all together, but they can all just stop stroking their beards, because I reckon I've figured it out - queues.

I think I can safely say that nobody on this earth, regardless of cultural differences, enjoys standing in a queue.

These days, of course, people just whip out their smartphones and pretend they're really in another place, simply to escape the numbness of the queue, which is truly horrendous and can bring on bouts of raging nihilism.

Think about it. Think about the last time you spent in a queue.

Now think about all the time you have spent during your life in queues - and how little time you've spent telling your loved ones that you love them.

It's almost as depressing as that time my mum got me a pet rock because we weren't allowed pets in the area where we lived (okay, not that depressing).

Seriously though, despite how depressing it is, it is something which binds us all, and reminds us of our basic humanity and regard for one another.

When you really think about the queue and how it comes into being, it's really just people putting aside their baser instincts in the pursuit of fairness and equality, which I think is why we hate them so much.

We're essentially ignoring our ego to believe that we're all enlightened beings who put the needs of others above self.

Which I think is why we flip out whenever we see anybody cutting into a queue.

It's the same thing with road rage, really.

When we see somebody circumventing the laws we have put in place to make society a better place, our inner self realises it's being tricked and tries to break free, more often than not in the form of a few choice words (whether under our breath or otherwise).

The fact that we freak out so much at somebody going outside of this construct is actually a wonderful thing.

It means that we're all working really hard on maintaining the conventions needed to operate in a fair and equal society.

Maybe mull that over the next time you're in a queue.

And be grateful that you have the power of will needed to maintain the social illusion that is the queue.

Topics:  james mcgrath opinion

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