Monday, May 21, 2007

Bus Headlines


“Reports of trouble on buses rise”
“Rider-on-rider “assaults” up 30% in a Year”
“Stats define incidents broadly, but rudeness noted”

These were the headlines of The Seattle Times Local News section on Saturday. Having missed my weekly bus rides for about a month now, I was naturally drawn to this piece. Ironically, the continuation page of the article landed right next to the “Faith and Values” section of the paper. Hmmm. Coincidence?

I began to ponder these topics together. What if we responded to rudeness with kindness? What if we reported stories of good deeds rather than angry words? What if we wondered what might be happening personally to people rather than blaming the metro system? What if we offered each other a cup of kindness rather than a shove and push? If we offered our seat rather than turned away in indifference? If we looked with compassion rather than judgment?

What if we did something different? Paid our love forward? “Unplugged” our i-pods and cell phones? Considered people rather than systems? What if we stayed in our seat and let the sleeping man rest? If we offered comfort rather than contempt?

Do you think we could change the headlines?

“Compassion can never coexist with judgment because judgment creates the distance, the distinction, which prevents us from really being with the other.”
--Henri Nouwen

7 comments:

goodfornowt said...

I think it was George Bernard Shaw who said that morality is simply the attitude we adopt to people we personally dislike.

aka lucy said...

d--great quote!

Tess said...

The cynic in me says that good news does not make headlines unless it is either dramatic heroism or saccharine sentimentality.
The optimist says that headlines don't matter: we can change the world one small act at a time. Starting on the bus.

aka lucy said...

ah, yes. the tension of the cynic vs. the optimist. which one today?

Antony said...

I confess that I tend to alternate between the optimist and the cynic. But I do like what Tess said. I'll say ditto to that.

Geezer Dude said...

Change the headlines? I don't think so.

Change the people around us? Maybe.

Change ourselves? YES!!

Sunrise Sister said...

agree with geezer re changing the people around us - maybe.

changing ourselves - daily effort!

Is there any contact you could make with the person who wrote the bus article regarding your "personal" observations on the bus - maybe we can't change the headlines, but maybe the "little bylines?" Worth a try:)