I love bus rides. They’re excellent venues for people watching. Usually, there’s the guy who’s nodding off onto the lady sitting next to him while she keeps itching closer to the window hugging her groceries. Then there’s the student muttering abstract terms under her breath and glancing down at a giant stack of flash cards every few seconds. Then there’s the guy with the earphones doing the drum solo, the girl having a crisis on the phone, the guy who’s everybody’s friend, the lady with the elbows out, the knitter, and the one with the fruit platter. Okay, the last one only happened once, and it made for an awesome bus ride. Someone came on the bus with a platter of cut fruit and offered it to a few people, but everyone just smiled and shook their heads. A stop later, a man got on- he was missing a few teeth and half a shoe, and he accepted a piece of fruit. Within minutes, this man had strangers talking to each other, laughing, and slowly, one-by-one, people started grabbing some fruit. The only thing missing was the strumming of a guitar.
Sometimes, it feels like a lot of our interactions with each other are filled with expectations of reciprocity. Often, as a result of the fear of unfulfilled expectations, we don’t take the chance to connect with each other. People are a fascinating lot and we’re given an incredible capacity to connect with one another and to love. Every day gives us the opportunity to love and to make a few people smile: our family, friends, partner, and even random strangers on a bus.
I know we’re taught not to take candy from strangers, but fruit’s ok right?