Years ago, I was riding the 6 Haight/Parnassus in San Francisco. There were a group of humans who had special needs riding with me that day. I had noticed one young lady looking at me intently. I smiled at her and went back to playing on my phone.
Suddenly I hear…
Her: “Hello? Hello?” I look up and, in fact, she was speaking to me. “How are you today?” she asked.
Me: “I’m doing pretty well. How are you today?” (The truth is, I was having a rough tie of it that day.)
Her: “I’m Ok. You are really pretty.”
Me: “Thank you so much! Really, thank you. I am not feeling very pretty today.”
Her: “Really? How is that possible?”
Me: “Our eyes have a very similar shape.”
Her: “Really? My eyes are very red right now from smoking too much.”
Me: “They are pretty.”
AND then, she just had to kind of think about that.
Soon after, I gave my seat to a woman with an infant and found myself standing next to a man in a wheelchair wearing a tiger cap (yep, ears and all). I shared, “I really like your hat!” He responded as if I had just handed a $100 bill. “Really? Thank you so much!”
He and I both got off the bus at the same stop. It was a full bus and I had to kinda push to get off. When I finally stepped off the back of the bus he was being lowered down. He was still looking at me as if I had just given him the keys to the city. I smiled and waved goodbye. He waved back, still smiling as well.
We all just want to be seen, loved and accepted for who we are. It’s super important to tell people that, and the bus is a great place to practice.