“ Today, I pulled into a small gas station in the middle of the desert in New Mexico and realized I had left my wallet at my girlfriends house 5 hours away. I had no money and barely enough gas to make it another mile down the road. The only other person that stopped for gas was a burly looking trucker. I was a bit reluctant, but I asked him for some spare change for gas. Instead he filled my tank and said, “Someone did this for me a few years ago.” MMT ”
That was taken from “101 stories that will leave you smiling, crying and thinking”. I urge you to go take a look and read through those 101 stories. Trust me, it’s time well spent.
Everyday, I commute to school through public transport (buses). I’ve been doing so since the past 3 years. It would surprise you to know how much one can learn about himself by just spending 50 minutes around people he's never met before.
The past three years have been a wonderful learning experience. I'll just give you a brief idea of what it feels and then, I'll come back to the main reason why I'm writing this entry.
There’s no one for you to fall back on.
You can’t expect a helicopter to descend from the skies if your legs are hurting. You’ll have to grit through the pain and walk because at the end, the journey will be worth it.
Choices. Travelling teaches you how to make them and how to learn from them. There have been times when I made a choice like “I’ll catch the next bus, this one’s too full.” and cursed myself later. Every single choice you make, every single action you take will have it’s own consequences good or bad and you’ll have to take full responsibility for them. I for one, enjoy this responsibility. I hate it when I depend on others and things go wrong because of them.
There’s more to the world than my cozy little bubble. You get an idea of how the world works. These rides have taught me when to back down gracefully.
“An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.”
I didn’t realize what it truly meant until I witnessed people yelling at each other during my travels.
There’ll be times when people will scold you for absolutely nothing. Though the book says that you must stand up for yourself, more often than not, it’s easier to just throw a blind eye. Some people just refuse to see the light of the day and I don’t see any ‘wisdom’ in arguing against them.
I am probably making it look like I’ve had only ‘bad’ experiences but I’d be lying if I said that was true. I’ve met amazingly kind people as well. I can spot a ‘good’ conductor by just observing him from a few metres away. It feels astonishingly good when a conductor remembers you and you don’t even need to tell him where you want to go. The ticket will be waiting for you.
I’ve probably gone too far from the actual purpose of this post. Let’s get back.
The reason I’m writing this entry is to tell you all a ‘small’ incident that happened today.
I’m a Indian school-going kid. 9 times out of 10, my school-bag’s going to be fully loaded with books. Travelling with such a bag on buses isn’t easy.
So, today, I was travelling home from school and was sitting in a ‘full’ bus. I spotted a kid who was standing. He had this ‘big’ school-bag on and was sweating profusely. I at once felt an urge inside me to ask him to give his bag to me so that he could stand more comfortably.
Over the years, I’ve met some kind-hearted people who’ve done that to me. I mean, they spotted me ‘struggling’ with the bag and kindly offered to help. I gladly let them help me.
As far as I know, this kid wasn’t giving his bag to anyone because he was too ‘shy’.
I wanted to help the kid by taking his bag. I just felt sorry for a fellow human. I wanted to show him that there’s “good” in the world :P
After some intense debate with myself, my emotions finally took over me and I nudged the kid. I told him “I’ll catch your bag”. He was like “huh?” I repeated “ I said, I’ll catch your bag.” He then understood me and willingly gave his bag over to me.
After about 3 minutes, my stop came. As I stood up to go home, I gave the bag to the kid. Here’s when it happened.
All this while, there was this guy sitting opposite to me beside the window. He had this ‘Dell’ bag and this cool looking mobile (It looked like an iPhone but it wasn’t one.)
When I got up and gave the bag to the kid, that guy offered to catch his bag.
Call me -whatever- but, this small gesture from him made my day.
I liked seeing how my ‘action’ had resulted in others doing the same thing. I mean, had I probably not made the first move of asking for that kids bag, he would’ve probably had to slog through wearing it till his stop came but now, even though I wasn’t there, there was someone who offered to catch his bag. I like it.
As I gave the kid his bag back, to be entirely honest, I didn’t hear him say “Thank you.” But, when I was of his age, I just used to mutter “Thank you” in my breath. Though I didn’t say it out loud, I meant it. I’m pretty sure he meant thank you as well but just couldn’t gather up his vocal chords to make a sound :P
Why did I do what I did?
Because, Someone did that for me sometime back and I hope the kid does that for someone else in the future.