I ride buses a lot. It’s a way of life where I live. I also commute three hours a day or more when there is traffic. This gives me lots of time to people watch.
There are acts that make me smile and think to myself ‘somebody’s mother should shep nachas from them right now’, specifically,when someone gives up their seat for another. Saying thank you to the driver is another nachas moment. I silently applaud these folks.
Then there are acts where my fellow humans utterly disappoint me. A lack of thanks to the bus driver is an example. Sometimes a bus is ready to drive off and the driver stopped to open the door. The person gives a big smile like ‘Whew, I got the bus!’ but no thanks to the driver who made a conscious choice to allow it.
I am disappointed when a person, particularly a young adult male, doesn’t give up a seat for a pregnant woman, an elderly person, or other female who might prefer to sit than stand. No bonus points earned here. I want to yell at them, “Get off your derriere! Didn’t your mother teach you anything?!”. (and yes, I have given up my own seat if the situation called for it.)
I personally have been in the position of being very pregnant and needing to sit. After mental telepathy failing of wishing someone to move, I’ve asked,”Do you mind if I sit here?” The person very nicely got up to let me sit, but it irks me that it didn’t cross their thought process in the first place. OK, giving the benefit of the doubt that maybe 90% of the population is in their own little iPhone cyberbubble and doesn’t notice…but….
It costs nothing to be kind (or polite). In my English class we have been reading the poem ‘Count That Day Lost’ by George Eliot. ‘George’ was really a woman by the name of Mary Anne Evans who wrote under a pen name because during the era when she lived it was not appropriate for women to be writers. In the poem, there are two stanzas. The first describes a ‘day well spent’ where an accounting is taken at sunset whether good deeds were preformed during the day. The second stanza talks about ‘a day worse than lost’, meaning no good deeds were preformed.
If the individuals above knew their bus behavior was being observed, I wonder if they would have done anything different. How they would each one ‘count their day’? According to the poet, the polite ones and the seat-givers would earn the ‘day well spent’ award and the impolite and sit-on-your-derriere individuals would need to find another opportunity because their day (IMHO) is ‘worse than lost’.
So the next time you are riding the bus or other mode of public transportation, remember your manners and be kind and considerate of others. It costs you nothing as well as makes the world a better place. Even if nobody is watching, do it because it’s the right thing to do.
Thanks for reading.
-Karen, The Klutter Koach
January 27, 2016