A Trip into the City

I’d gone into Manhattan to have the second shot in my knee. Which incidentally, hasn’t begun to work its magic yet but I’m still hopeful.
On the bus, a man sitting next to me asked for directions. I wasn’t certain what to tell him but the woman behind us offered her assistance. I could tell that she was familiar with our public transportation system so when she finished I asked if she knew a shorter way I could get to my destination. While she was giving me directions the man said “You’re confusing me.” She explained that these directions weren’t meant for him  at which point he said, “shut up. You talk too much,” and got off the bus.
The woman became upset. Knowing that it’s all in the way you choose to look at things, I smiled at her and whispered, “that wasn’t about you.”
“You’re right,” she said brightening up. “It didn’t have anything to do with me, The poor  man has his own problems.”
Then another woman got on the bus and sat next to me. She kept touching her neck. “I’m always losing things,” she said. “Today I lost a beautiful pendent. I know I’ll never find it.”
“No expectations, no disappointments,” I said.  “Just think how happy the person who does find it will be.”
“You’re right,” she brightened up. “I never thought of losing something in just those terms. I must make a great many people happy.”
One of my observations has been that people who ride the buses in Manhattan are more likely to start a conversation with a stranger than those who ride the subway. I was trying to read on the subway on my way home but a man sitting across from me was playing a game on his iphone. The game included a loud dinging noise and I couldn’t concentrate. I glanced up to see that all of the other passengers were becoming annoyed. “Excuse me sir,” I said, and I could feel the collective intake of breath among them but I continued, “Would it be possible for you to turn down the sound on your game?”
“Of course,” he said, “I didn’t realize,”  and he shut off the sound.
The other passengers relaxed and suddenly they were talking to one another like old friends.
I have three simple a-has that I live my life by. In no particular order they are: no expectations= no disappointments, no one knows what you’re thinking unless you say the words, and, the way people react to what we say has more to do with who they are and where they are on their own journey than it does with us. On this particular day they all came into play and thinking that my few words could effect people in such positive ways made me feel very good.

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