Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A compassionate move...

A passenger exploded at my driver on the taxi this afternoon. She watched us pull up to her driveway and noticed there was another passenger sitting in the front seat. The woman had called public transit for people with disabilities and requested that it be documented that she must always have a front seat when riding a bus or taxi. Apparently, the woman had hurt her leg last night and spent the evening crying in pain. She told all of us and anyone who was within earshot in a loud, panicky voice. A friend of the woman heard and came to help. I felt sorry for the taxi driver, a friendly accommodating guy who sees many different people each day and was just trying to do his job. On another level, I felt sad for the female passenger, an older, struggling lady who was obviously frustrated. She calmed down once the driver gently coaxed her into explaining why she was so upset. The man sitting in the passenger's side offered to move, so she could have the space she needed. Once seated, I said hello to the lady and told her I was relieved that she made it to her seat safely and she seemed to settle down. Throughout her entire trip on the taxi, she talked about her ailments, her belief in prayer, and how she doesn't usually have an outburst. More than three times she thanked us all for being so kind.

I am so glad the driver was compassionate. If someone were yelling at me before I was even out of my vehicle, I can't say I would have behaved the same. I hope so, but who knows. I am grateful that the sweet Italian man sitting in the passenger's seat saw that he could lessen the woman's distress by moving to the back. I am glad that by saying hello to the lady, her focus changed from her troubles to myself and the other gentleman. I am glad she had a good friend close by and that she said she was sorry for her behaviour. Most of all, I am pleased that we all seemed to understand that the ailing woman needed us to do just that.


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