I’m on the bus and suddenly it pulls over to the side of the road. A transit van is there to meet us and two transit employees board the bus and move to the rear. We all turn around. A man is lying on the floor. The transit employees try to wake him up to no avail. They call the paramedics. A fire truck pulls up and four paramedics jump out. They gather around the man and speak to him in the most polite and kind way. Calling him “my friend” or “buddy” or even “sir.” Trying to gently shake him awake. Taking his vital signs. Asking him politely if he has taken some medication. Reassuring the rest of us that they will try to settle the situation quickly. Finally supporting the man on both sides they are able to get him to walk off the bus and we continue on our journey. The entire time the man is treated with respect and civility.
I’m at the Millenium Library. The guards who screen my purse and bag at the front door do so respectfully. They are friendly and polite. They ask me how my day is going. I am looking for about a dozen books I want to read by authors who will be presenting at a children’s writing conference I plan to attend. I no sooner enter the children’s section than a helpful technician approaches. “Can she be of assistance?” I hand her my list and within five minutes or so she and her colleague have found every book for me.
I’m breezing through Winnipeg Square hurrying to the bus stop on Graham. A young man just ahead of me stops at all four sets of doors we pass through to hold them open for me. What a gentleman!
On the bus, a young woman in a nurses’ uniform who looks like she has just finished a long day of work, gets up as I make my way down the aisle of the crowded bus and offers me her seat. Do I look that old? I thank her but tell her I will stand.
There are plenty of well mannered and neighborly people in this world. I see them every day and experience their kindness and courtesy every day. Yes, there are some folks who are rude or let their anger get the better of them but I want to be more diligent about noticing and appreciating the way most people are friendly and polite.