On one of the few days it rained in LA, I decided to take the Number 2 bus to meet a friend. By the time the bus came, I was completely soaked. The newspaper over my head and the palm tree above were no match for mother nature.
As I stepped into the damp and musty bus, I felt the tension of the standing-room only crowd. I paid my fare and found a place to stand next to a well-dressed, old man that was seated comfortably with his eyes closed as he held a cane in one hand and an umbrella in the other, making him the only dry passenger. At the next abrupt stop he opened his eyes, sat up and looked to the front of the bus.
“We’re at Genesee,” I said. He nodded and continued to look forward.
A moment or two later, the last passenger boarded, a beautiful but frail, elderly woman that was having a little trouble getting on the bus with her broken umbrella. Grumbling from the back of the bus could be heard as she struggled to quickly pay her fare and secure a safe place to stand as the bus driver abruptly closed the door and pulled away from the stop. And stand she did, at least for a bit, as the perfectly healthy passengers clung to their seats dedicated to the elderly and disabled as if they owned them. Unitil something amazing happened. That sleepy, old man sprung up best he could, cleared his throat and said, “Excuse me, my dear, this seat is open.”
Recognizing his caring soul and the fact that he needed a cane to stand, she replied, “That’s so sweet, but you don’t have to give up your seat to me.”
The elderly man replied, “My dear lady, it was not mine to begin with.”
Taken by his chivalry, the elderly lady smiled, took the seat and said “Thank you.”
Nothing was said by them or anyone else on the bus until a few stops later, when the elderly gentlemen pulled the stop cord and proceeded to the front exit. All eyes were on him. The entire bus was silent. He turned slowly to look back at the elderly woman and nodded. She nodded back, blushed and looked down to find his umbrella at her side.
“Oh, you forgot your umbrella.” she said.
He smiled and said, “No, I didn’t…enjoy” as he proceeded out of the bus and into the rain, welcoming each and every drop.
“It was not mine to begin with.” – the old man on the bus
What a wonderful statement that led me to the question. “What is really mine to begin with?”
Think about it. What is truly yours? What did you come into this world with? What will you leave with? What is not transient? What remains without change?
Consider Your Thoughts.
What thoughts are uniquely yours? Aren’t many of your thoughts given to you by others? Could you consider giving up thoughts that don’t serve you and sharing those that do?
Are your habits your own or did you learn them from others? Could you let go of the bad habits and share the good ones?
Could you begin to let go of your attachment to things? Could learn to share those things that serve you and let go of those things that don’t?
Could you realize how much energy it takes to possess things? Could you better use that energy to live more fully in the present?
Could you begin to see the gift of life you are and share it with others?
Over time you may realize little is ever really yours, and that what matters is rarely matter.
Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber iwishicoudltellyou.com i wish i could tell you
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