Couple years ago, when I was still living at home, close to my family, I always go everywhere by car. My parents will always make time to drive me safely to my destination and pick me up after I am done with whatever business I have. Later, my friend also took the duty to pick me up from my home and return me back safely to my parents. But when I left my home country to pursue my study, I have no choice but to take public transportation. It is pretty convenient but no where near as comfortable as my private car (I don’t think I need to explain why). As time passed by, I got used to life with public buses and trains and have my own way to enjoy the ride. Sometimes I listen to music and lip-sync-ing like nobody’s around (where in fact it’s a full bus), sometimes I read books and most of the other time, I just let myself to be lost in my own world. One thing I realized is everyone is also doing the same thing as me, make themselves as comfortable as possible and give very little care to whatever is going on in the bus.
Since I started to work and became a regular bus commuter, I changed my attitude a little. I started to observe my surroundings a little bit more. Normally everything is very repetitive, the same guy sleeping and snoring, old couple on the priority seat chatting lively, so on and forth. But there are days in which I was able to observe events that made me regain my faith in humanities. So here, let me share the story from this evening.
It was nearly a full house in the bus, I stepped in with my not-so-small bag while hugging my laptop but since there is so many people, I was unable to move in the bus and thus need to stick by the door. At the next stop, some people got off the bus and so I squeezed myself into the middle section of the bus and found myself a hand handler to hold on. So imagine yourself in the middle of a moving crowd, both shoulders carrying a bag, one hand protecting your laptop and the other hanging on the ceiling handler. Does not sound so comfortable right? But, I was feeling moderate, neither like it nor hate it. Then a middle aged woman next to me, she poked me and told me to take her spot instead–so in a bus, of course everyone with a chair can sit down but those who stands, there are some sweet spots in which if you stand there, no matter how bad the bus is trembling you are most likely to be ‘secured’ (not being squeezed by others or basically just able to stand your ground)–. Yes, this woman’s spot is one of the sweet spot I mentioned, and she gave it to me because she saw me having trouble with my laptop and bag. She really took me by surprise (also note that she stood beside me for pretty long time, meaning her stop was not close but she offered the place to me) because this has never happened, especially in this society where kindness is rarely use to describe them, I felt so grateful.
There is more. When the bus stopped for the fifth time (fifth stop I think), there are some elderly who have a hard time getting off the bus (because again it is full). However, in normal circumstances, they will still able to get off one way another. But in this bus, I saw people are opening the way to let these grannies passed. Some even got off the bus and then lend a hand to help the slightly overweight grannies step off the bus. Not only that, a lot of people (in the bus) also told the grannies to walk slowly, move carefully and take care. The bus stopped for something like five minutes but no one (as far as I heard) complained about it. I feel warmth when I witnessed the scene. In the current world where so many hate crimes, gun shots etc etc, I am blessed to be able to be reminded on the kindness of humanities.
Faith in humanity restored.