For more reasons than one, I really dislike public transit. I have had a car since I was 16 years old and I loved not having to rely on anyone to get me where I wanted to go. I lucked out. It happened to be our old family car. By the time I sold it, it had been in the family for 16 years, I had driven it for 9 of those years, and we racked it up to over 360,000 miles. It served us well and I have such fond memories of adventuring in that car. I affectionately named the car Clark, like Clark Kent, because he was a super car, literally my dad revived him SO MANY times and the car just would not stay dead. I sold Clark after a month of living in Portland. The building I lived in didn’t have parking included and it was going to cost another $200 a month to park Clark across the street on top of the $1200 dollars a month for rent. I wasn’t down for that. So I sold him.It’s now been a little over a year without a car and purely riding public transit. I’ve gotta say it’s not favorite. In general, it takes for ever to get anywhere. I try not to complain too much because I am thankful that I have a way around the city without owning a car. But yesterday takes the cake for my public transportation experience.
I got on the bus and this specific bus line seemed to be especially packed that day. So I had been standing next to the back door (I like to be near the doors) and we came to a stop. Three teenagers walked past me to get off the bus, when a fourth came bolting past me nearly knocking me over, laughing all while doing it, and at the same time a woman in the back screamed, “HEY!…STOP…HOLD THE BUS…” and proceeded to blast past me as well.
It happened so fast. I keep trying to think of ways I could have helped but really there was nothing I could have done, besides trip the fourth kid that did the robbing, which again happened so quickly. The woman had been casually texting on her phone when this teenager grabbed her phone and bolted from the bus. She probably won’t see her phone again and that boy probably won’t be caught and therefore there will be no repercussions for his actions. For the woman, her day was ruined because of his actions.
It drives me insane that we, as humans, are so capable of hurting one another and some humans seem to enjoy it. Some don’t have any regard for others. I know, I know. You might be thinking, “Bridget, it was just a phone, there are far worse things that could have happened.” I KNOW THERE ARE and in the grand scheme of things the damn phone doesn’t matter. But what does matter is the fact that you’re so willing to write off what happened to this woman just because it was “just a phone”. Yes, it was just a phone, I get that. But that boy’s actions today still ruined that woman’s day and he laughed while doing it. The real problem is that he does not care how his actions affect others or the world around him.
We, as humans, can do better. We have to do better. Maybe it was “just a phone” today but what happens when that same kid grows up and tries to rob a gas station while yielding a gun, or decides to set a forest on fire with fireworks which said fire threatens the lives and homes of several thousand people (aka the Eagle Creek fire in Oregon/Washington border, google it). And yes, maybe I’m passing too harsh of a judgement on that kid because I don’t know anything about him; he has his own story. But these senseless actions that may same “small” in the grand scheme of things eventually add up; they always add up.
We have to do better to teach other to fucking respect other humans. Not an easy task, I know, but I cannot lose hope. I have to believe that people can be better to each other and learn to respect each other better. It boils down to education, listening to one another, and gaining perspective. Sometimes we get caught up in the argument and spouting off snide comebacks. It’s okay to disagree. It’s not okay to not respectfully listen to another’s point of view. We’ve all had different experiences and we walk in different shoes. There’s no way we can know how each of us sees the world but with education, listening, learning, and gaining perspective, we can start to better understand the reasons for our world view and in turn, I think we can learn to love and respect each other better, and maybe even have a change of heart.
Even with this picture of myself, with my tongue sticking out seemingly carefree, right? But you have no idea what brought me here today. You don’t know my experiences or anything under the surface. I may be sticking out my tongue for funsies (not a word, I know), but you didn’t know about the bus incidence and how it affected me until I told you. And did you know that it was hard to force myself out of bed this morning to get to yoga? Did you know in the beginning of 2016 yoga was my ONLY reason to get myself out of bed? Did you know that I cried at work last week because a patient was being rude but that patients being rude to me or the other nurses I work with happens EVERY DAY? Did you know it wasn’t really the patient that made me cry? Did you know that I had been dreading to come to work that day because again, it was hard to get out of bed…for no reason, other than sometimes my serotonin levels get really low and it’s hard to function? Did you know that for the last several weeks I’ve gotten 3-5 hours of sleep each night and that too is linked to my serotonin levels? Did you know that a lady getting robbed on a bus would lead to all this for me? NOPE. You didn’t know a damn thing until I told you and allowed you to gain a little perspective into my world.
We can’t know what each of us goes through every day. We CAN choose how we treat one another. Yes, sometimes we have bad days and we might be rude or impatient every now and again (we can’t expect to be perfect). But we can at least TRY to love and respect each other better. We can at least TRY to gain understanding of each other and maybe little by little, we can make the world a little better…a little more hopeful and a little more loving.
What are some of your thoughts? Comment below and tell me what you think. I am always up to hear a new perspective and new thought processes. Let’s start a conversation here.
Much love, B.