Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Equal hearts

These notes are bound to produce an extremely unpleasant impression, because we've all lost touch with life and we're all cripples to some degree.

In a previous career I worked closely with handicapped people who had all types of disabilities both physical and mental. Firsthand I witnessed small victories over their limitations, and also the sadness of resignation to those limitations. In many ways, the experience helped me recognize my own limitations though not so visible as a physical handicap. Just as important, it helped develop an active mindset of patience, understanding, and empathy.

One Sunday morning at the north layover point for the 50, I had a few minutes for a restroom break and to grab a coffee. Usually some of the passengers do the same and we'll rub elbows in an environment away from the bus. This particular morning a regular rider, a young man with an obvious handicap, appeared upset. Something had apparently just happened because a moment before he seemed content enough. I asked if anything was wrong, and he explained that some guys nearby had made some derogatory comments toward him based on his handicap. Although visibly angered, I could see wisdom winning over as he attributed their bullying to ignorance. He was right and I reminded him there will always be ignorant people, and not to take it to heart, their ignorance was their problem not his. However, we all have our limits and and it's never pleasant to start your day with disparagement.

Back at the bus stop, a passenger was waiting patiently on the bench and we used the last couple minutes to get into a brief discussion about time, human nature, and other philosophical matters. As we boarded the bus for pullout, the conversation carried on and he commented about looking out the bus window while riding and having revelations 'about things I should have known before.' He was an older gentleman and as I reflected how his words rang true, it also resonated that we never stop learning through the years. By now the young man had entered the bus also and found an opening to join the conversation, the two of them continuing the interaction as I focused on the business of driving the bus. As we slowly pulled off from the curb, it was still the three of us up front and the young man asked me loud enough for the older man to hear: "We interacted back there, right, in the restaurant?"
"Yeah, of course."
"See," as he gestured an inclusive circle with his arm. "Equal hearts."

No comments:

Post a Comment