Being stuck behind a school bus, particularly one that is dropping kids off every other inch (or so it seems), can be one of the most frustrating ways to end your day.
Especially when you’re 300 feet from your house.
Just an hour ago I was sitting in my car and staring at my ever-welcoming driveway, yet I was not remotely frustrated. “But Tessa you just said being stuck behind a bus is one of the most frustrating things!” Yes I did. I was not frustrated though because I knew that I would only be stuck for 30 seconds maximum, unlike the two cars in front of me, who could still have miles left to their destinations! But (wait for it…) I did not feel even remotely sorry for them either.
Why? Because the bus driver who brings kids home in my neighborhood is one of the most remarkable people I know.
This woman (I’m afraid I don’t know her name – though I should) had surgery at some time ago – when I was too small to remember all of what I was told. During this surgery, she lost her voice. Every day she struggles to speak and when she does speak, it comes out in a hoarse whisper. Even more difficult, she spends her time driving with a bus full of (probably not very well-behaved) children. She must keep these children under control without the use of her voice.
Another hardship I imagine she faces comes from my own experience. I remember when I first heard her speak, it startled me. Luckily my parents taught me manners, so I smiled and responded like nothing was out of the ordinary. But I cannot imagine how how the less well-mannered kids must react on that first day of school. Every. Single. Year.
Needless to say – I cannot fathom a day in her shoes. Just the fact that she does all of this with a smile on her face (a smile that is one of the most genuine I have ever seen) is remarkable and makes her one of my role models. However, what really inspired this post, is the little kindness that she does for me and everyone in my neighborhood every day.
As I got out of my car today I saw her do what she’s done for my mom and I countless times before, pull over and let the cars behind her pass. That sounds like such an easy thing, but consider how often she pulls over to let people in cars pass her. She is flipping the role from lengthening their drive, to lengthening her drive. The most powerful part of this act, is that she does it almost every day. I promise you that having this happen completely turns your mood around!
The point I want to stress is that you can make an impact in people’s lives simply by thinking about their perspective. I am guilty of using statements along the lines of “that’s their problem,” but what if I made it my problem too? I’m not saying stress about it or go too far out of your way to help, instead simply do what you can. Find an area in your routine where you can do something every day to help others. That can mean picking up trash whenever, wherever you see it or offer that kid you see walking home every day a ride. Use every opportunity in your life to change someone’s mood for the better, even if you don’t think it will make any difference to them, it just might make their day.