At first, I thought he had a nervous twitch or was Mad.
Which made me nervous, seeing as this guy was driving a Bus full of passengers, myself included.
It was a Summer’s morning, and I was catching the bus into the City.
What was he doing? I thought to myself as I sat curiously. My eyes remained fixed on the bus driver.
Again the driver raised his right hand in the air for a few seconds before lowering it back to the steering wheel. But why? Did I imagine this? Nope. Once again, the hand raised mysteriously.
I shuffled a few seats further down the bus to get a better view. Feeling like an undercover agent, I caught the driver in the act, except this time I had an AHA moment as the reality of the situation began to sink in.
The bus driver didn’t have a twitch, and he wasn’t Mad, he was teaching me a valuable lesson in Humanity…
Each time he raised his arm, he was, in fact, waving to someone, more accurately — waving to other bus drivers. Not only that, he was waving to ALL the bus drivers who crossed his path, without fail.
Not a single bus passed during our journey without my Bus Driver waving. I watched on with eager eyes as every minute or two, when another bus crossed our path, our bus driver acknowledged his colleague with a wave of his open hand. ”Is this some unwritten rule of Bus-driver-hood’ I considered briefly.
I glanced out the window, the morning’s Sun hitting my face as a smile slowly grew, I liked this simple gesture, and I liked it a lot.
Although simple, I found it meaningful, somewhat symbolic. Bear with me as I explain…
It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. ∼ Audre Lorde
What I found some profound that morning was the bus driver waved regardless of who the other bus driver was. Regardless of their gender, their age their ethnicity, their appearance. All judgment was suspended when the hand went up. All that mattered was what they had in common, the fact they were driving buses.
Sadly, this focusing on what we have in common with others is rare. We live in a world where (as adults) we focus on our differences. Differences in our appearances, differences in our beliefs, social class, our religion, our culture. It’s another story for young children.
They don’t discriminate; they don’t fight, they don’t commit atrocities against each other. They are yet to learn the illusion and lie of separateness. A child will form a friendship regardless of how ‘different’ their friends are.
Children’s friendships transcend race, appearance, even language.
I witnessed this when holidaying abroad as a Child. I’d spend days playing with the kids despite the huge language barrier. Through hand signal, nodding of heads and patience, football was played, friendships formed and fun was had.
Children care not for labels. Labels are harmful; they create an us-and-them mentality, when in truth we belong to one family, the human family — humanity.
Imagine if we lived in a world where we each acknowledge we are firstly human before we are British, Black, Muslim, Male, Female, Jewish, French. Imagine the impact this would have on our lives.
It’s easy to see only the differences between ourselves and others. What’s challenging is searching for our similarities and in turn cultivating a sense of oneness.
What can we individually do to cultivate this sense of oneness?
1. Be curious about the people you share your life with.
Ask questions and learn what you have in common. We have much more in common with our family, work colleagues, neighbors, and friends than we realize. Search for those wonderful moments in life like when someone you know shares. They were born in the same hospital as you, they love your favorite band too, or you have a mutual friend you weren’t aware you share with this person.
2. Be mindful.
We all have the same core needs and desires. Ultimately everyone you meet in life wishes to be loved and accepted. Everyone. Be mindful we all have same core needs desires, at the end of the day we all want to avoid pain and suffering and wish to be loved and accepted. If you put yourself in the shoes of any of human being, how would you like to be treated?
This brief moment in my life while on the Bus that morning had a big impact on my life. Imagine if I had been distracted on my phone that morning! Just goes to show great lessons and teachers are everywhere. I’m happy I could share this moment with you. Thank you for reading,