Friday, October 22, 2010

What Sets us Apart from the "Apps" that Make our World Go Round

Monday morning presented itself this week with the usual hectic pace; everyone running behind, dashing out the door and hoping to make their destination on time. Lula, our 15 year old is particularly concerned with being on time. She's incredibly busy and her schedule demands that she not miss a beat. As a result; glitches put her into a tailspin. When her school bus didn't show up Monday morning it was out of the ordinary, an inconvenience, frustrating. Kids waited for a while then eventually disbursed to city transit, or parent taxi's. I'm quite certain that more than a few opted for a return to bed, no bus is a pretty plausible excuse for ditching. Lula herself arrived to school late via city transit and of course it set the tone for her day. By the time I arrived home there was very little to salvage. Her rant began with the absentee bus driver and ended with same. I myself was more than a little perturbed. School transit should be reliable and dependable. Already this month in our city there have been reports of school bus drivers operating under the influence, uttering threats and facing charges of assault. I'm starting to get a little uptight about the whole adventure, preferring the years leading up to high school where my child walked. Lula's rant became mine momentarily as I shared her frustration.

Tuesday we had put the matter behind us. A bus arrived on time to transport her to school. The driver was new. The usual driver absence perhaps disciplinary from the previous day. Wednesday the same. Whatever, they were getting my daughter to school on time and in one piece that's the extent of my concern. Thursday we learned that the usual driver had in fact suffered a heart attack and passed away! On hearing that news I gulped, feeling an immediate sense of guilt. Surely Karma is hunting me down at this very minute to dispense some much justified retribution.

Why is there gratitude in this moment? Where can it be? We jumped to conclusions and rants; there is no dignity in that. A man died; that is nothing to celebrate or give thanks for. Karma is hot on our heels, I'm certainly not looking forward to that.

The gratitude moment is found in my daughter's facebook status from last night "RIP Chris :) you were a nice bus driver <3".  I am grateful that she knew his name. That the person who drives her bus or serves her fries or handles her returns are more than cogs to her. That, as Chris's passing so clearly demonstrates; the people who facilitate our day to day life are people, with lives and families and love and sorrows and names.

Tomorrow, when a young lady or man serves me coffee of rings through my groceries, I am going to remember to take note of their name tag and thank her or him by name.