Monday, April 18, 2011

Grateful for A NJ bus driver

I am blessed with the convenience of having a bus stop alongside my apartment house building. Both departures and arrivals ease my life considerably. As an instructor in a city college, Touro College, the 158 takes me directly to the Port Authority bus terminal in approximately 45 minutes-no GWB hassles, a significant savings in tolls and parking costs, and the added feature of traveling with others from all walks of life.
I am an observer-unlike most others, I cannot read on a bus and do not own an I-POD; while others' eyes slant downward towards a tiny screen or look absentmindedly in the distance as they converse on cell phones, I sit patiently with eyes that wander with curiosity about all that transpires around me. It's a time to think, to allow my mind to wander, even to meditate.
I catch my bus at 3:20 pm, 3 times a week. It happened to have been quite a windy afternoon, not uncommon where I live. In preparation for the bus' arrival, I had several dollar bills in my hands. Suddenly, as the bus approached, I thought that one bill had been carried away by the wind and I began to feverishly search for it. I motioned to the driver to please be patient and not drive away. A few minutes passed; it seemed that the wind had carried the money into oblivion.I looked up and to my surprise and great gratitude was the driver who had descended from the perch of his large steering wheel and joined me in the search for the dollar bill. Finally, not wanting to hold up the bus any longer I gratefully acknowledged the driver's unusual kindness and informed him that to search was of no avail and we could return to the bus.
The dollar bill disappeared but in its place was the priceless experience of an average individual's simple yet extraordinary act of kindness.
Thinking to myself as the bus rolled on, I became acutely aware of how rare it was for most bus drivers to go out of their way in this manner; further, if one thought about it, it should not be a rarity among those who serve the riding public , namely to be a helping hand in all circumstances of passenger difficulty. Most of the drivers I have met have acted courteously and helpfully in virtually all situations. Every now and then we encounter an act beyond the call of duty, one that elicits a special sense of gratitude.I was given that lovely moment of another's care and concern a moment well beyond the value of a lost dollar bill, perhaps more precious than money itself.

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