Life Lessons

Once in a while something happens in our lives that we can turn into a Life Lesson.  It can be something small and maybe insignificant.  It can pass in a moment and is often soon forgotten.  When I was teaching young children, we called them “teachable moments”.  Well, today I had one of those moments, and I can only hope that the other person involved will remember and learn something important from it.

I had to do some errands and I took my shopping wagon on the bus with me to go to South Keys Shopping Centre here in Ottawa.  In Walmart I bought an egg timer and after paying for it, popped it into my wagon.  Then I went to Chapters and bought a book.  My next stop was Loblaws where I purchased six items.  They were quite heavy and I was glad I brought my cart with me.  It was difficult to get it up the stairs at the bus station, but I managed since the elevator wasn’t working.

I waited a few minutes for the bus and when it came I could see that it was crowded with young people returning home from school.  They were standing in the aisle and I joined them.  It was not easy trying to stand on the bus and hold onto my cart.  Then I spotted a free seat and made my way towards it.

Turns out there was a young woman, about 18 years old, sitting in the next seat and she had her backpack on the empty seat.  There was an older man sitting behind her and he looked at the seat, at me trying to balance myself and just shook his head.

I said, “Excuse me, I’d like to sit there.”  No answer.  She just turned away and looked out the window.  Now I am a nice person.  Politeness is important to me.  But this young lady needed a life lesson and she needed it today.  I obliged.

I reached over and poked her in the arm.  I said, “I want to sit there.”  She grabbed her backpack off the seat and returned to her window-gazing.  I sat down.

Lesson # 1 – Your backpack is not as important as the comfort and safety of a fellow passenger, especially if he/she is an older person or is trying to cope with a cart or stroller.

Lesson #2 – This is for all the young people on that bus.  Offer your seat to an older person or to a mother with young children.  Think of how good you’ll feel.  Think of how good they’ll feel.

Lesson #3 – This is for the teenaged girl sitting with her friends around the middle of the bus.  Keep your “f-bombs” to yourself.  You had the loudest voice on the bus and I wasn’t impressed with your language.  We all know those words and we are not impressed.  It is a public place.  And by the way, the lack of knowledge you displayed about things my 10 year-old grandson knows about was laughable.

I like and admire young people.  But think about the world outside your narrow one, once in a while.  Make your parents proud of you.  Make YOU proud of you.  Be nice.  Be polite.  Be kind.

Life Lessons are opportunities to grow and mature.  Try it!


8 responses

  1. I dislike riding the bus or train when school kids are going to/from school for exactly the reasons you described. I’m sure they are generally good kids and most of their parents would be appalled at their behavior, but they seem to behave in ways they might not normally when they are in public and in a group.

    • I think you’re right about the group thing. I noticed that the girl with the “language problem” was a lot quieter after a few of her friends got off the bus! I guess I’m going to have to learn to tune out all those things! – Maureen

  2. Well, old girl new tricks – lovely sentiments but I’m afraid you’re whistling into the wind. Some young people enter the untouchable zone as teenagers and couldn’t be reached with a foghorn! The young lady with the knapsack probably didn’t even register your existence. With any luck, she’ll resurface and re-enter the human race in a few years and wonder where the heck she’s been.

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