A few Days back April posted about how The Muchness Challenge has helped her find her voice, find the confidence to speak up when she knows something should be said and others just sit back and watch, and it made me remember a time, many years ago, when a pregnant woman on the subway was clearly in need of a seat but no one was standing to offer her one. (I was standing too, obviously) In my head, I was yelling at these people “STAND UP! GIVE THIS PREGNANT WOMAN YOUR SEAT” but out of my mouth, not a sound was heard.
I wrote that if that situation presented itself today, I am quite certain I’d speak up without a moments hesitation.
And there it was. This morning. On the bus. I’d waited forever because service was limited (Thanks again Irene). The bus went along it’s way and I started writing in my notebook, oblivious to the world. At the last stop before getting on the highway, I heard the bus driver tell the potential passenger that there were no seats left, she’d have to stand. I looked up, glanced out the window and saw that the woman was wearing an infant in a carrier strapped to her chest. Without even a moment to think I stood up and called to the front of the bus – “She can have my seat!” — I didn’t even know I did it. I walked to the front of the bus to make sure the driver had heard me and she knew of my offer. Then she asked me if there was another seat for her toddler. And here’s where it got interesting…
I looked towards the back of the bus and saw what might have been an empty seat. But I couldn’t be sure. So I called out- loud “Are there any seats back there?” and I didn’t even care that I completely broke the sound barrier of silence. Nor did I care that no one answered me, rather a few just shuffled uncomfortably. Then a gentleman got up and offered his seat.
But then, the woman didn’t get on because her annoying friend wanted to wait for the next bus. So, I walked back to my seat, without an ounce of self-conciousness.
After sitting for a moment, when the bus started moving again, I realized what I’d done, and that my heart wasn’t thumping and my foot wasn’t tapping and I wasn’t at all concerned if people were annoyed that my actions had held the bus up for a minute or two. And that, was an awesome Muchy feeling.