I was reminded of this story today. It made me remember who I am. It made my heart smile and thought you might enjoy it as well.
“Years ago I was on the midtown cross-town bus in NYC, in evening rush hour, in January, in the sleeting wind and rain.
Yeah, it sucked.
The bus moved at a crawl, and everyone on it seemed depressed. It would’ve been far faster to walk across town, but the weather was too godawful to bear. Everyone was definitely hating their life that day.
When we reached 10th Ave, the bus driver made a surprising announcement.
He said, ‘Ladies and Gentleman, we are now nearing the Hudson River. I’m going to ask you to do me a favor. When you get off the bus, I’m going to hold out my hand. As you walk past me, I want you to drop your troubles into the palm of my hand. I’ll take your troubles for you, and when I drive past the river, I’ll throw them in. The reason I want to do this is because you all seem like you’ve had a bad day, and I don’t want you taking all your worries and sorrows home to your friends and families now. Because they deserve better than that, don’t they? So you just leave your troubles here with me to dispose of, and you all go have a wonderful night, OK?’
The whole bus — the whole grumpy lot of us — broke into laughter. (Some of us, myself included, might have even shed a tear or two.) And one by one, as we filed off the bus, we dropped our troubles into the palm of this good man’s hand, and we stepped off the bus with smiles on our faces.
What that guy did? That’s the best and most powerful example I’ve ever personally witnessed of TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ENERGY THAT YOU BRING INTO A SPACE.”
The story was told by Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor, a neurologist who had a stroke, and who wrote about it in her beautiful book MY STROKE OF INSIGHT.
You and I are conscious human beings having similar trials and tribulations. Some days seem overwhelming. We know what it is like to feel drained, to worry and suffer. We also know what it feels like to experience our spirits rise because another person cared.
As you think about others, what is the smallest thing, the most inconspicuous act of light and joy that you can offer to them today?
What could bring a smile to the people’s hearts around you?