The Kind Gesture that Helps Elizabeth Gilbert Find the Light On Her Worst Days
While stuck on a bus in New York, one of my favourite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert experienced a “kind gesture” that helps her “find light on her worst days.”
It was a terrible day; “rage was in the air” and not even a pregnant woman would be offered a seat.
That’s when the bus driver took things into his own hands, literally, and getting on the intercom, offered the grumpy bus-goers a chance to “drop [their] troubles into the palms of [his] hands” as they unloaded. He urged them to leave their problems on the bus that day, instead of bringing them home to corrode their family homes. He offered to “throw the troubles” into the Hudson River when he came to the end of his route.
Everyone on the bus laughed, and just like that, he had changed their physiological states, reminded they were all human, and that they were not alone in their sadness, anger, and challenges of their lives.
Gilbert recounts, “We live in a hard world, my friends. Sometimes it’s extra difficult to be a human being. Sometimes you have a bad day. Sometimes you have a bad day that lasts for several years. You struggle and fail. You lose jobs, money, friends, faith, and love. You witness horrible events unfolding in the news, and you become fearful and withdrawn. There are times when everything seems cloaked in darkness. You long for the light but don’t know where to find it. But what if you are the light? What if you’re the very agent of illumination that a dark situation begs for?”
That bus driver was able to make a notable difference to all of the commuters that day, just by offering his kindness.
Gilbert concludes by saying, “No matter who you are, or where you are, or how mundane or tough your situation may seem, I believe you can illuminate your world. In fact, I believe this is the only way the world will ever be illuminated—one bright act of grace at a time.”