Twice now I have encountered interesting bus drivers who have provided me opportunities to learn a little bit about the world around me and assess my own thoughts on life.
The first was a bus driver who introduced himself as Big Mike. We started talking because I was ambiguous with my body language at the bus stop when the bus was coming in. I hate to admit it but part of the reason I was not clear is because I was on my phone messing around. For the first few minutes of the bus ride we talked about the importance of being clear to a bus driver. From there we began talking about life somehow but it lead to some interesting thoughts. Big Mike had been in the army and now lives a peaceful life. The theme of our conversation was about not stressing over life. Sadly this happened a little bit more than a week ago so I can’t remember the full details but the conclusion I got from Big Mike was to enjoy life and take it easy. Big Mike told me a bit about himself which included some time in the Army. He also has a wife and I think kids. It was fortunate that I met him because he was essentially a substitute bus driver. All-in-all it seemed to me like he was pretty set in life. That’s what I gather from his tone anyway – I don’t wish to presume I know anything else about this man.
The second encounter happened just today which is why I thought about it all to begin with. I didn’t catch the name of the driver today, but we started talking because I had my tenor sax and my trumpet with me on my way to East Campus and Biddle to practice. On the way to Biddle we talked about music. He asked if I was in a band and I told him that while I am on the drumline in D.U.M.B. I play the sax and trumpet for personal reasons. From there we discussed school allegiances – the driver is a UNC fan – and right about then we reached the bus stop. After practicing I rode the bus home and the same driver was at the helm. This time we talked a little bit about my history. He playfully asked how the apartment I was in compared to the mansion I used to live in at home. It was an interesting question because while the house I live in now is definitely mansion-ous relative to the apartment I’m staying at over summer, I grew up for quite a while in a house that was smaller than than the apartment I’m in now. In fact we had a whole 4 member family in an apartment of about the same size later on. To that extent I am very grateful for where I am in life (with the thanks going to my parents). But it’s not a thought I have very often if only because at any given instant I’m thinking about what I have to do or what I want to do.
The result of these two conversations coming up in my memory is that I had a sudden appreciation for the life I had. Both of these bus drivers probably have great lives with wonderful people to spend it with but I think if I compared our lives directly it’d be easy to say that I have things better or easier. For this I am very thankful for. Furthermore this thought occurs on July 4th, or the USA’s independence day. Even more to be thankful for. Without the sacrifices of people many generations before me I could not have the life I have now, and that’s both in the US and in India as well. It’s amazing how very little influence I had in the lot I was given in life but how fortunate I was to have a decent roll of the dice, so to speak.
Take the time to appreciate the good in the life you have.