With Thanksgiving less than a week away and the country feeling so divided, I felt inspired to share this sweet story from my Thanksgiving trip last year. It’s about people helping people on a crowded bus the day after Thanksgiving. It still warms my heart to think about it. Enjoy!
I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family in Hawley, Pennsylvania. Since Hawley is only about 100 miles west of New York City, my partner and I decided to hop on a bus to spend the following weekend in the city. I’ve taken this bus before, but never with a cast of characters like the ones riding the day after Thanksgiving. When we got on, there was only a handful of people on the bus, including a young man with long hair across the aisle from us. He looked a lot like Adam Driver from the recent Star Wars movies so for the rest of this story, I’ll call him Adam.
Adam was sound asleep wearing noise-canceling headphones so he missed the comedy when a bickering husband and wife with strong New York accents boarded the bus two stops later. They were both carrying multiple shopping bags overflowing with wrapped holiday gifts. Once the bus started moving, the woman began fretting about leaving a bag at the bus stop. They went back and forth, blaming each other for about ten minutes until the woman realized she was carrying the bag in question. I felt like I was watching a Saturday Night Live skit!
The next stop would be our last before Port Authority. There was a crowd of about thirty people waiting to board. Our driver had to count empty seats before letting anyone else get on the bus. It looked like those folks had been waiting out in the cold for a while so I can only imagine their frustration when they discovered not all of them would get on. One of the last to board was a very determined African American grandmother with two wide-eyed grandchildren. The little boy looked to be about one, and the little girl was probably no more than five. She walked past us, kids in tow, but eventually made her way back to the front of the bus to wake Adam. His backpack was in the only remaining empty seat.
Once he moved his bag to an overhead compartment, the grandmother plopped down in the seat and grabbed her bundled up grandson, placing him on her lap. She then pulled her granddaughter closer to her and loudly proclaimed that she was not getting off the bus. Meanwhile, the bus driver was outside sharing the unfortunate news that the bus was now full. Even though the kids were small, I wondered how this woman was going to cram three bodies into that small space for the remaining two and a half hours of the ride.
Adam must have been wondering the same thing. I couldn’t hear their conversation due to the loud mumbling and grumbling of the new passengers, but the next thing I knew, the grandmother was passing her grandson to Adam and then pulling her granddaughter out of the aisle and onto her lap. Not more than a minute had passed when I noticed the little boy was fast asleep on Adam’s lap. He must have felt safe because his eyes remained closed for the rest of the trip.
Watching the little boy sleeping in a stranger’s arms for the next two and a half hours touched my heart. It confirmed what I believe to be true. Despite most stories reported on the evening news, it is much more natural for us to help one another than to harm one another. People are inherently kind. We sometimes forget that we are more alike than we are different, but I am encouraged when I see people remembering this truth more and more often.
As we head into the holiday season after a particularly challenging year, let’s follow the example of the young man on the bus. You don’t have to hold a baby on your lap for two and a half hours to be kind. Wearing a mask when you go out in public may be the kindest thing you can do this year. Wishing others peace, love, and joy no matter who they voted for is another way. Each one of us can create miracles when we get in touch with our true nature.
If you could use some help creating miracles, please consider giving yourself the gift of Life Coaching or a private Family Constellations session. Both help you see things from a different perspective and allow love to flow more freely. For more information and to schedule a session, please visit my website or send me an email. Gift certificates are also available on my website.
Until next time, may this miracle story inspire you to be open to unexpected possibilities and the kindness of a so-called stranger.
Each day a thousand treasures come to me with every passing moment. A brother smiles upon another, and my heart is gladdened. Someone speaks a word of gratitude or mercy, and my mind receives the gift and takes it as its own.
A Course in Miracles – Workbook Lesson 315