Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lessons From The School Bus Driver

 This morning the door bell rang and I opened the door to see Jack standing there with a smile.  Jack and his family are the great gardeners that do jobs for me that I can't manage by myself anymore.  Especially since I don't have any place to let the clippings and cutting compost.  He takes all that away with him to his farm. 

He's such a great person, as is his wife Olive and son, Eric.  So very easy to deal with and talk to; as a matter of fact, we can get into such great conversations that I sometimes feel guilty for taking up their valuable time, but they seem to enjoy this aspect of service just as much.  So, being able to spend some time in the company of kind people is a bonus.

Today, when I said, "Jack, the door's open if you need anything or if there are questions," he responded, "No questions.  Just wanted to let you know we're here and will get started and see how far we can get.  You know school's back in session and I'm the bus driver again."

I asked how his bus is this year; you often hear stories about how some unfortunate drivers end up with Satan Spawn as passengers.  He said, "No problem.  They're good.  I set the rules with them from the very first day. I think kids need to be allowed to be kids, but they have to be respectful."

It was then that Jack the Gardener/Bus Driver taught me a great many things in the conversation that followed:  Jack says "Good Morning," to every child who gets on the bus and waits for them to wish him the same.  If they don't, he makes a joke out of it by saying, broadly, "Why good morning to you, too, Jack!"  He says he only has to do that one time and then the kid remembers he has to return the greeting.

Each afternoon, as they exit his bus, he says to each one of them, "Good evening," and waits for them to respond in kind.  And, they do.  Many of them say, "Thank you."  That's a bonus!

If a child addresses them as, "Bus Driver," he kindly corrects them and say, "My name is Jack, I drive a bus.  If you need me, please use my name."  They do.  He doesn't require that they call him Mr. Jack, but many do, and that's also a bonus.

He tells them, "You all will be many different things in life.  Some might be surgeons, or farmers, or lawyers, or bus drivers.  You'll all be different, but the one thing you all must know how to do to be successful is know how to recognize and acknowledge another Human Being."

So, he sets about teaching them that through the daily expression of a simple courtesy.  On his bus, in the average day, without a big deal, Jack is teaching these little plantlets how to grow into fine specimens of Human Beings.

And it happens just by getting on Jack's bus.

It seems to me, that if each one of us, through our usual routines and jobs, remembered to extend those sorts of lessons quietly to each child or person we encounter, we could collectively make a huge difference in turning this increasingly graceless world back into one that is kind and good.

Thanks, Jack!  For teaching me something today, especially since I never rode a bus to school.  Have a good day!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly

3 comments:

joyce said...

Good for Jack! As Canadians we have somewhat of a reputation for being overly polite, but I don't think that saying please, thank you, good morning, have a good evening and the odd I'm sorry when it's warranted is a bad thing. The world needs more bus drivers like that...no, not bus drivers, Jacks!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Jack is my kind of guy! I wish him a wonderful life with all those lovely life lessons returned to him a hundred fold.
xo jj

SandraDee Dana said...

Jack sounds like a great driver. I drive a school bus myself and I do a lot of the same things that Jack does. Yes, i have the occasional demon spawn but 99.9% of my kids are wonderful and respectful. I have even had kids tell me that I had a part in who they became in life. It warms my heart.

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