I posted the following on Facebook the other day (edited):
I was on the road during rush hour when a bus in front of me was looking to merging back in traffic. It was getting little help or cooperation from the two cars in front of me. They surged forward, narrowing the gap, signaling their refusal for the bus to get back into traffic. I stopped, flicked my high beams to signal the driver to merge in. As the driver was cutting in, they took the time to reach out of the open window and wave. That gesture indicated “Thanks.”
A strange thing happened. It touched me. I actually had tears. Really? Tears? Duane, get a grip! But I let it be and realized how I long for this unconditional reveal of the human condition to experience in my daily life. I took the time to let someone I couldn’t see but who was in a predicament know that I wanted to help. No end game other than…I care. The driver, in turn couldn’t see me, knew not who they were communicating with, but took the time to let me know they truly appreciated getting a break. We didn’t see each other, but we did.
It is all too easy to look into our world and see division. Who is right and who is wrong, who is Left and Right. In this environment, that little wave reminded me of our intrinsic humanity. Such a small thing, a momentary glimpse revealed a more significant truth. Human connection, revealed in a small, blinding moment. Am I making too much of this minor incident? I hope not. D.
I got many responses to this post, including one that broke my heart wide open from ‘Tommy Transit’:
“Ahhh Duane – as a 21 year veteran as a BC Transit Operator I cannot tell you how this post touches me. I am in tears as I read it and reply. No you are not making too much of this wee moment. This is HUGE. When I put my signal on to pull out into traffic and in my rear view mirror saw the kindness of a headlight flash invite to slip in, I always in that second had a lump in my throat at this “Connection of Kindness”. I never missed a wave of thanks “and” a quick 4 way flash of appreciation as I pulled out in front of “you”. Millions of times over the years, my hand and shirt soaked by the rain I refused to let your kindness go unnoticed. Bless you and all those, hundreds of thousands that showed me this heartfelt kindness for taking 30 to 50 cars “off” the road with my many passengers that chose the bus instead of driving who grasped that time to prove that’s kindness joins our hearts. Your post is the most poignant I’ve read in months. Deep deep thanks.”
It takes so little to have so much if we just take the time to realize how connected and how much we not only need each other but need to help each other. This ‘little’ interaction with the bus driver and now Tommy Transit has made for a ‘great’ day.
Duane O’Kane is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, workshop facilitator, teacher and a dynamic and entertaining international public speaker. He has a lengthy background in mental health and social services…40 years and counting with 18 years in the field before forming Clearmind in 1991.