Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you—drum roll please—my mood. I give it to everyone I meet, all day long. So do you. I’ve been particularly aware of this lately. I usually take the same bus every morning, but there are two or three different drivers who are regularly in the captain’s seat. One of them is always surly. This grizzled grump of a man is very curt with the riders and I swear sometimes he slams on the brakes just to see if he can make the straphangers topple. I am not fond of him. Another regular driver is a cheerful guy with turquoise-beaded bracelets. He tells us to “hang on and prepare for blast-off, because this is rush hour, Folks, and the bus is full.” This guy giggles and says “All Aboard!” like a train conductor. He shares his smile.
I’m always in a better mood when I get off the bus if I’ve had the fun driver. He makes a difference to a lot of people every day. I try to keep this in mind as I wander the world. Each human interaction I have could potentially turn a day around or send someone’s mood right into the toilet. This is a big responsibility and we all share it. I try to use my power for good, because I realize my behavior does make a difference.
Last night I was waiting for my bus home after a movie. The wind was whipping. I was feeling the misery. A homeless lady told me I had style, that she loved to see someone wearing such a festive dress. I chatted with her and her partner. This friendly couple was planning to camp outside in a tent that night, because they couldn’t sleep together at the homeless shelter. The man told me they’d be fine, because he’d had military survival training. He said, “You could drop me off in the middle of the Artic in my underwear and I’d be just fine.” I replied that in a similar situation I’d freeze to death in my panties. He said, “No you wouldn’t—I’d swoop in and save you.” I got on the bus with a smile, and I think I left them a little bit warmer, too. Then I smiled at two friends, and they smiled at two friends, and so on, and so on . . . .
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
21. Today be aware of your interactions with others. Are you lifting them up or dragging them down?