by Zuhra Abbamin
Many tired faces, straining, for that last smile they can conjure with what little energy they have left; but really all that remains is that great exhale of relief. “Alas, the day is through.” But it would probably sound a little less medieval and a little more like, “Finally, I AM DONE”, and/or in whatever language they may speak. But for many, this doesn’t mean the day’s stressful endeavors are entirely through. Many go home to kids needing to be fed, bathed, or a home needing cleaning. Hell, some go home to all this and then out again to work the night shift at another fatigue inducing job. Life, it ain’t easy.
We’re all trying to make ends meet and get by. And on that 7:45 bus, I see the many hard working faces of America’s backbone. And what warms my heart the most is the compassion all of these people portray. While one woman says “Here, I’ll do it for you” to the woman in front of her who is having trouble getting her dollar in, there’s a young man entertaining a baby, stirring the infant up from a sour mood, unbeknownst to him, he’s reducing the mother’s stress. There’s also the never ending amount of people giving up their seat for the old, the young, the whatever. If you’re without a seat, it doesn’t matter what your caliber is, someone is bound to give up theirs for you. The amazing thing isn’t simply how generous these people seem to be, it’s the fact that they have to be the most stressed, the most tired and anxious. This is where you see the mother hauling three, four kids all under five years old, on her own; where you see the girl in her oversized cooking uniform and her faltering make up on her beaten face, the young man in his gym clothes studying a rigorous subject, clearly trying to forward his self in education. The diversity is heartwarming, it’s uplifting.
The bus, it gets you where you need to get but teaches you that which you don’t expect to learn. But aren’t those the best of life’s lessons? Those random thoughtful moments where the essence of life is flung at you just because you’re there in that specific time and space? Open your eyes, open your ears but most importantly open your mind. We’re surrounded by people most of the time but we rarely take notice.