Watering seeds of goodness in one another
As we go though life we are faced with opportunities for action which will have an effect for good or ill on the people with whom we come in contact. Our response to the challaenges of life will have a rippling effect beyond what we might imagine.
I was witness to an example of this effect today as I sat on a Dublin bus.
The driver missed an opportunity to re-open the door in order to admit an eldely man who arrived at the bus stop just as the bus was about to leave. The driver clearly saw the elderly man who knocked on the door and in all reasonableness the driver could have opened the door without the slightest risk to anyone. The bus had not moved off.
A young man on the bus made his annnoyance felt by shouting aloud to the driver “you should have opened the door for that elderly man” , a reasonable reaction for which I felt inclind to congratulate the concerned citizen at his observation of someone’s missed opportunity to do a good turn.
You will imagine my surprise and shame when concerned citizen on leaving the bus turned to the driver’s cabin, not to gently chide the driver but to hurl a tirade of racial abuse at him. Other passenger were horrified as I was to see a display of raw racial hatred as concerned citizen reminded the driver (who happened to be black) that we (Ireland, I presume) had given him accomodation and a job.
Concerned citizen banged on the drivers cabin spit at the driver and called him “a f…ing black b…..d”.
As we go through life we each have an opportunity to water seeds of goodness in other people. An encouraging word issued, the stopping to let someone go in traffic, giving someone an opportunity to cross the road, an unexpected act of kindness given, all these help to circulate good feelings which make life better for everyone.
We all have seeds of selfishness within us. They are watered and encouraged to grow every time we do a bad turn or issue a harsh word. The world would be a better place of we could let these seeds of selfishness simply fade away through lack of water.
There is a brighter end to this story in the apologies issued to the driver by other passengers as they left the bus and the inspiration to share this story so we can all learn a lesson in tolerance. We may have differet religions, different languages, different coloured skin but we all belong to one human race.
Our differences are to be celebrated, not something to give rise to hatred or abuse and, having regard to the long history of emigration from this country by millions who sought work and opportunity abroad, we in Ireland ought to be to the fore when it comes to welcoming people of different races to our shores.