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The Bus Driver

The week has brought lots of wonderful sunshine and some cooler days here in the Big Apple. I had quite an interesting experience on the bus while going to an appointment yesterday.

The busses were running poorly so on every major bus stop almost thirty or forty people were boarding. (Normally there are about 10 that get on at each stop.) I found myself thinking that we were just like cattle being herded to our destinations, stressing out over the idea that I was going to be late for my appointment. I had given my seat to an elderly blind man. He was agitated as well. I shared my image of the herded cattle and we laughed.

All of a sudden, the bus driver began calling out the names of the avenues as we approached them. His voice bellowed out as if he was a tour guide. This is not usual for a NYC bus driver.

The whole bus broke out into laughter at the joy the driver was spreading to us. At a time when the driver knew how stressed out all the passengers were, he humored us through his pride and bright outlook which he was passing on to us as a part of his job.

As the passengers got off at their stop, I could hear each one thank him for his wonderful attitude, wishing him a nice day.

His attitude had touched almost 75 people in such a brief time. I remarked to him that I couldn't imagine the numbers of people that he would continue to make an impact on through out the rest of his work day.

He replied that while it was a job, he had to make the best of it himself. He shared how difficult it was for him when passengers boarded with angry, uptight faces, not willing to say good morning.

While I usually make it a habit to smile or acknowledge others throughout my daily activities, I was overjoyed with the energy of the driver. I thanked him and shared with him that he was a gift to mankind, as I left the bus to continue on. So remember to keep your spirits up. Make a difference in the lives of those you come in contact with daily. It's contagious. Your attitude affects more people than you can imagine.

COPYRIGHTED GAIL R. MITCHELL 9/30/1999

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