I am having a love hate relationship with the public transportation system here in Wellington. I love it because it is quite an extensive system and can get you just about everywhere, including all of the far reaching places like Upper Hutt, Eastbourne, and Paraparaumu (love saying that one!); there is a handy tag on/off system you use with your snapper card that saves you time and money; 90% of the people are very polite and say thank you to the driver as they depart; and most importantly, there is no need to stress myself out by driving in this narrow, curvy, crazy city (the bus driver makes sure I get my daily dose of OMG!). On the other hand, public transport can also be annoying – which is a more accurate word than hate I suppose. You are at the mercy of someone else’s timetable, it is extremely crowded during commuter time, and aside from the “thank you’s” and “please check your balance” (which the snapper machine says to practically every passenger), there is not a lot of talking. People are on their devices, or reading, or just looking contemplative about the coming and goings of their day … and then there was this morning.
This morning started as all others do. I got on the bus heading to University. Waited patiently for people to disembark before I could find a seat, and then did my usual – people watching and shoe scoping. Halfway to my destination the bus stopped for people to get off. An older gentleman and his wife slowly made their way to the door, and the man sweetly turned to the bus driver and in a surprisingly loud voice said, “Thank you driver, have a great day.” Then, in an even louder voice, turned to us, the passengers, lifted his arm and enthusiastically waved while cheerfully yelling, “Goodbye! Goodbye! Have a great day!” Before I even realized it, I was waving back at him, and laughing out loud, and I wasn’t the only one. It was such a simple and kind thing to do – and I have thought about that man all day. Could I do that? Could I turn and shout out to strangers a heartfelt salutation? Might it give someone a chuckle, or a much needed pause and think? I’m not sure, but it certainly can’t hurt! I do know we need more of THAT in the world. More of people just being nice to strangers, for no reason but the joy in it.
I think I’ll give it a go.