The Lady on the Bus

Every morning I witness several acts of compassion which bring a smile to my face without fail.

These acts all occur on my morning bus ride to school, during which a woman with a walking disability boards the bus.

The first act of compassion occurs when, inevitably, the lady has difficulty arriving at her bus stop on time. She lives not too far from the stop, but her disability causes her to have trouble getting there. Fortunately for her, the fantastic bus drivers will stop, pick up the people at the stop (as they are required to do), then proceed until they see her.

Upon seeing her walking towards the stop, the bus driver will again stop, just to let her on board. This occurs nearly ever morning, and it never fails to bring a smile to the face of everyone involved: the lady, smiling with gratitude; the bus driver, happy to have been of service; and nearly every onlooker who witnesses this event.

Now, this covers one of the acts of compassion. This one is well seen, and appreciated. The next two acts are not as often witnessed, nor immediately appreciated.

After the woman boards the bus, one of two things usually happen.

When the people sitting on the bus see the trouble the woman has with walking, they want to help her, to give her a seat so she doesn’t have to stand up.

Numerous times, I have seen people near the front of the bus (nearest to the woman once she boards) vacate their seat so the woman can sit down.

Today, I saw something I hadn’t yet seen, an act of compassion which again aimed to create a seat for the lady.

This morning, the bus rolled up to the stop, as usual, then continued on its way. The bus stopped again shortly after to let the woman on board. As she stood at the front counting otu her fare, the man beside me reached forward to the bank of seats in front of him (which are folded up to allow for wheelchairs or strollers if necessary) and unfolded them. This was to allow the woman to sit there, to have plenty of room for when she had to get off.

Now, earlier I mentioned that these latter acts often go unappreciated. Every day, as people vacate or unfold chairs for this woman, she prefers to stand. Now, I have no issue with this. She may have difficulty sitting or standing up, which would explain her preference to remain standing.

Thanks, A Pledge, and a Plea

The reason I write this is to say thank you, to make a pledge, and to make a plea.

Firstly, thanks. Thanks to the woman who vacated her seat, to the man who lowered the folded seats for the woman, to the numerous drivers who have stopped for the woman when she couldn’t make it to her stop on time. Especially thanks to those who make room for the woman. While she may never sit in the seats which you make available to her, know that you’ve done a good thing, I commend all involved for their actions, everyday.

Secondly, a pledge. I pledge to thank those who perform actions in order to make the lives of others easier or better. To thank those who go out of their way to help others, especially those who do so without their efforts being appreciated. They deserve it, they are the unsung heroes.

Finally, a plea. Let this article be a plea to all, a plea to do as I have pledged, to say, “Thank you,” to those who perform an action to make the life of another better. Pledge to say thanks, and we’ll make this world better, one day at a time.

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