To the Man on the Bus Behind Me

In my previous post, I described the positive examples of humanity to be found on public transit. In this post, I am going to highlight the less than exemplary actions acts of one young man who sat on the bus behind me on a weekday morning.
To the man on the bus who sat behind me, your boasting and disturbing communication to the woman next to you disrupted my enjoyment of a book on positive change, I restrained myself from interjecting. I restrained myself not only because I feared throwing you into a steroid induced rage on the bus that would leave me less than presentable when I arrive to the office. I restrained because I was hoping that you would mention something redeeming, something positive, something that shows off the better aspects of humanity. Most of all though, I restrained because was at a loss for words…until now

To the man on the bus behind me, Halloween is for small children and should end in the teenage years. It is not a day to prey upon well-meaning individuals, to vandalize or abuse those who reserve the gifts for children, and most of all, to take greedily from the candy jars; ensuring that the small children behind you have none. You are an adult with by your own statement, hold multiple jobs; if you feel so compelled to consume sugar, go out and purchase your own.

To the man on the bus behind me who holds multiple jobs, the manager and customers put a great deal of trust in you. To hear that you blatantly lie to customers to guilt them into additional tips is a concerning revelation. To hear your racial commentary on those you work with is disturbing. To hear that you strive for a slack job with little responsibility is depressing; you have two legs, and two arms and by your own accord, are very strong.

To the man on the bus behind me, who complains of lost weight through a summer of working, there is no need for you, a man of barely twenty, to be consuming steroids for the purposes of weight gain. While steroids may have their play amongst the professional athletes, they are not a mass gainer. They are an item that even when implemented with the careful research you clearly lack, can fray your young, stocky body and leave a small husk of a man in the months and years to come.

To the man on the bus behind me, women are not your playthings to date, use, and discard as you see fit. They represent roughly half the human population and share the same emotions you do. Yet I sit and listen to you spew bile about your previous relationships, critiquing their appearance and mannerisms in a callous communication unfit for any human being. To think that a small man such as yourself: a womanizer and a manipulator would base ending a relationship in any part on what your friends thought of their physical appearance demonstrates a shallow nature difficult to fathom.

To the woman on the bus behind me, who sat their engaged and supportive of what the man was saying as you both rode towards an institution of higher learning, please do not encourage this attitude. The last two centuries have seen a great deal of struggle towards equality as a moral principle for race and gender. In supporting his behavior, you only seek to demean yourself and the struggles of your parents, grandparents, and ancestors who struggled so very hard for the world we live in today.

Finally, to the man on the bus behind me, who spoke for twenty minutes without giving me any redeeming values to work with, I really do hope to meet you once again. Your present situation suggests that you have positive traits unmentioned and excluded from the bus ride we shared. Clearly you have friends, a string of previous relationships, and several jobs, but when you speak publicly the way you did today, how can I be expected to perceive you as anything but the callous and cruel man that you project. Perhaps next time, you will mention your acts of kindness, your emotional strengths, or some other aspect of your personal nature that supports my view of humanity as fundamentally positive in nature. We share the same Earth and as the Dalai Lama suggests, “one’s enemy is the greatest teacher of tolerance”, so I strive to seek out some sort of positive element in you, some perspective that I have missed. Perhaps another day you will be kind enough to share that element with me.


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