A true and personal little story to renew your faith in the spirit of human kindness and challenge your everyday assumptions… Please read, with love <3
Last Friday, I went to experience a morning yoga class in Berkeley, just outside San Francisco. After class, I went to take the bus, discovering as the bus pulled up that I still hadn't quite worked out the 'other side of the road' scenario. I turned to walk away, to the other side of the road, as people were getting off the bus. I remembered also that I needed correct change for the bus, so I opened my wallet to check for dollar notes.
As I did this, I noticed a guy who had just gotten off the bus walking close behind me: hoodie pulled up over a skinny, pale face covered in what looked like junkie's sores. I felt a wall of wariness zip up my back as I cautiously zipped up my wallet. "Probably a good idea to put my wallet away," was the thought running through mind – not only did he look like 'the type', but this was also San Francisco, where there are far too many husks of human beings living on the streets, often barely knowing why they are alive, surviving the only way they can. And although I often give people money or food, sometimes the wall of suspicion and judgement just rears it's head without a conscious thought…
"Excuse me," he called out. "Oh no," I thought. "Do you need a dollar for the bus?"
"Excuse me?" I asked, dumbfounded.
"Do you need a dollar for the bus, miss?" he asked, looking at me earnestly.
My whole being lit up in astonishment. "No thanks, I'm fine. Thank you so much…"
As we shared an open-hearted smile, realising that he thought I had walked away from the bus because I didn't have enough money or the right change, I just got exactly what I needed and a whole lot more – a reminder to stay radically open at all times, to actively shatter my ingrained assumptions and judgements, and a renewed faith in the beauty of kindness and generosity of the human spirit – no matter what.