"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Friday, August 16, 2013

giving dignity

Sometimes I bus to work. Not always. We have one car between us. So it varies.

The other morning I was on the bus, and a stop or two after mine, a man got on. He was in rough shape, socks with holes so big, they stretched up from his heels over the top of his worn-out shoes. He smelled bad, worse than you might think. My guess is he had slept on the street. He quietly sat down across from me.

I wondered how the other people on the bus would react to him.

One lady glanced across at him, and greeted him by name, asked him how he was doing. He brightened right up.

Another young mom got on, pushing her toddler in a stroller. She sat down beside me. The man stared at the toddler, and she stared back. Mom watched carefully. And then - she also greeted him by name, asked him how he was doing. He smiled, said he was fine.

Somehow I was moved.

I interact with people of all shapes and sizes and smells, quite frequently. It moved me to see others do the same.

It doesn't take much, you know. Just an acknowledgment that someone else is a human being makes all the difference in the world.

Happy Outrage-Free Friday to you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised at what you observed - that ordinary people really do look beyond the surface appearance to see the man's humanity. I'm not sure that I would.