I caught the bus into my local shopping centre the other day, and it was completely empty. As I registered my pass, I said hello to the driver, and commented on the splendid tweed cap he was wearing. He thanked me and welcomed me to my own private carriage – since no one else was there – and we both laughed. We chatted, all the way to my stop, and I got off the bus with lifted spirits and a smile on my face.
People like that change my world every time I encounter them – and there are lots of them, often in the most unexpected places or roles. It just requires seeing beyond the transaction, the ‘costume’ the person has: their job, their appearance.
Our roles can take us over, so we are occupied with being the teacher, the CEO, the taxi driver, the street cleaner; or the parent, the care-giver, the partner. Yet none of our various roles really define us: it is our human-beingness that shows who we really are.
And that is something we all have in common – it is the place where the roles and expectations drop away and we encounter others with our hearts open, rather than our heads running the show.
When I come across people like the bus driver, I am reminded that there are some people who choose to be open-hearted most of the time – all the angels in various types of costumes who bring some lightness and kindness ad warmth to the world – and they give their gifts freely if you are open to the possibility.
And I am reminded that I can be one of those people if I open my heart and appreciate the person rather than the role.
We can all get stuck in the routines and busyness of the everyday, and we can all enjoy and be a part of the transformation of that everyday into magical moments of heartfelt connection with another human being.
I know which I prefer…