January 26, 2012

Words of Wisdom

Last Thursday was just one of those days where nothing seemed to be going right. Old man winter had finally decided to visit so I had decided to take the bus back to my apartment. As I neared to where I could see the bus stop, I noticed that the bus was pulling up while I was still a good distance away, so what did I do but run to catch it. Out of breath I get on the bus and see that it is pretty crowded. No big deal, I ride the bus standing all the time and walk down to one of the vacant metal handles to get ready to steady myself. While I'm adjusting my feet, you know assume the position as it were, I hear, "Excuse me miss, would you like to sit?"

I look to where this voice is coming from and again he says, "Would you like my seat?"

At this point I'm in complete shock, who in this day and age gives up their seat on the bus? A few moments passed as I stared at this gentleman about my age before I finally spat out, "I'm fine, thanks," really loud I might add. 

He smiles and motions to his seat as he gets up and says, "No, really."

Is this guy for real? My eyes go from him to the other passengers on the bus and sure enough they were all watching. I'm sure I blushed as I smiled and told him thanks as he walked towards the back of the bus.

All the way home I stared out the window and kept thinking about how nice of a gesture that was. You never hear about that kind of thing happening, especially nowadays. And there it was, "you never hear about nice gestures."

I feel that my generation and those that follow have a case of what I like to call the "gimmee me." That illness where it seems that everything that comes out of one's mouth is either an I want this, give me that, oh how I suffer or whoa is me. ME, ME, ME, ME! And the honest truth is, I hope we all snap out of it and find a cure. I'll be the first to tell you I'm not perfect and there are occasions (more than I would like to admit) that I am quite selfish, only thinking about how something will benefit me and not anyone else. When I get in these moods I always hear a voice tell me, "How is that going to affect the other person involved?"

That voice is my grandparents, growing up I spent most of my time hanging on to every word of wisdom they spoke my way. The main one's being to care for others and to always remember that no matter how down you feel, that it could always be worse. To this day I still hear these words through stories that people who knew my grandparents share with me and telling me that they were "just good people."  What was so common in their day but something you just don't see much of anymore.

This brings me back to the gentleman on the bus. A "good guy" who cared enough to give up his seat to a perfect stranger, because he thought she needed it more. As the bus pulled up to the stop near my apartment complex I frantically looked around for the gentleman, hoping to learn his name and thank him again. But to my dismay he was nowhere to be found. I will never get to tell him just how much his kind gesture meant to me and that it has refreshed my eyes to see the world differently.

Because of him I have set up a challenge for myself (and hopefully you will join in with me) to help someone out everyday from getting the door to leaving a post-it on a desk to make someone smile. And who knows, one day I may get to repay the gesture...