Choosing where to sit on the bus can be tricky. There are some rules that most of us are familiar with – you get up for an older (actually just old) person, a pregnant woman or even those woman with lots of children.
But are there some unspoken rules that I do not know. For example- I got on the bus tonight and it was pretty full. I ended up sitting on the aisle seat with my laptop bag and a big bag of goodies from the States. In order for me to sit down the woman sitting at the window seat needed to move her large plastic bag off the seat.
At some point in the ride I noticed her fidgiting and realized she had the bag not on her lap or on the floor but she was letting the bag hang off of her fingers. At the same time i realized that the two seats in front of us were not empty and I could move seats.
To move or not to move that IS the question?
If I moved she could place her bag back on the seat and give rest to what appeared to be weary hands. I could spread out and not have all the bags on my lap. But by the time I came to my conclusion she had pressed the button letting the bus driver know that she wanted to get off at the upcoming stop.
Earlier during the week there was an old woman on the morning bus with me. I could tell by the out of date style of how she was wearing the shmatta on her head that she definately came from an Arab country.. Throughout the bus journey she would play musical chairs never venturing past the middle doors. She must have changed seats around 4 times in the 20 minute journey. The bus was not filled and I have no idea why she would change seats. Maybe she felt she needed to sit in every seat b/c maybe she wouldnt be here tomorrow to take the bus?
I feel like there is a deeper meaning behind where one sits on the bus. I automatically assume that a person giving up a seat on the bus has “kavod” or respect for not just the elders but for human beings in general. To get up and allow another person regardless of the reason to sit in your seat shows character. It means that even during the most mundane task of bus riding there are those out there that pay attention to others around them.
If we all paid attention to the needs of the general community regardless of faith… wouldnt this world just be in a better state?