eck, his pants drag showing his underwear. His cap is askew on his head. He holds a large boom box on one shoulder, and then places it on the floor. He turns and loudly announces “I want to stay out of trouble tonight.” Heads bob up
from their business to view this person. It is a quick look; passengers ignore him. Maybe he will “disappear.” Their eyes look downward at their reading material.
Then, he blares his music disturbing the quiet hum of the train’s wheels on the track. Angry eyes look towards the boom box; twisted faces contort
to reveal great displeasure at this disturbance. But, then, the young man
performs handstands, twirls in rhythm to the music, magically moving across the aisle that fascinates even the most annoyed passenger. All eyes now focus on this talented person; his clothing and demeanor no longer seemingly a threat. At the end of his performance, the young man bows; and, taking his cap off his head, offers it to the passengers. One by one, the passengers place money in the cap as they enthusiastically applaud.
Now, the doors of the train car open and some passengers depart.
A homeless man enters the car. He smells. He finds a seat. All the occupants look down; they avoid looking at him. But they know he is there. Maybe if they ignore him, he will “disappear.” But he stays; and, as the train begins to move, he takes his hat off his head and entreats the occupants to place money in his hat. No one does. He finds a seat, gathering his plastic bags tightly around him. It is at that moment the young rapper walks to the homeless man and pours his money from his cap into the homeless man’s hat.
I coach people to see life as an opportunity. We have so many
chances to change or touch lives.
Think about this. Your life is like the train traveling to different destinations. Each stop along your way, you can decide what you will do to make an impact or a difference. You can choose to ignore, to stereotype, to classify people and avoid them. Or you can choose to notice, to appreciate
differences, and to give back. Generosity doesn’t take much–a smile, a kind word, a cup of coffee. Whatever you choose to do, I know your train stops will be much more fascinating. And you may find your life more enthralling.
May this year’s ride bring your new opportunities!