4:30 AM. My alarm goes off; it’s Monday again. I open my eyes and stare out in disbelief that the weekend has gone by so fast. I reluctantly get up and start preparing for the battlefield ahead. I skip breakfast, wanting to get off to an earlier commute.
5:30 AM. Right now, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll spend the next 2 hours standing in a bus, stuck in traffic, wishing for Friday. Things will not get better, I think to myself. Or can they? I look at the people in the bus with me. Sitting up front is an old couple, the lady falling asleep on her husband’s shoulders while he quietly looks out the window. Where could they be going this early, during rush hour? Maybe they’re off to visit their grandchildren, or maybe to the hospital? I hope it’s the first one. I look to my right. There’s a group of 20-somethings fighting to stay awake, wearing their corporate attires, probably on their way to their offices. How can they be so young yet so tired?
I see a lady sitting at the back. She stands and gives her seat to an older gentleman. Man, in this traffic jam she chooses to stand? I probably won’t do that. I look at her more closely. She’s around 30 (my age), wearing a plain t-shirt, her hair tied up in a ponytail. No makeup, no nonsense, no earphones, no phone. There’s something about her despite her simplicity, though I can’t put my finger on it. What is it? Then, it hits me. Her eyes. They’re smiling. What? Her lips are not, but her eyes, there’s something about them. I take one look, and I know she is content and happy in a bus full of people, stuck in the traffic and heat. And I think to myself, Hey! I AM IN THE SAME BUS. But why am I cursing life as I know it, hating this Monday morning, while she… She looks so peaceful?
Then I realize, maybe it’s not the circumstances that I’m in that can dictate my happiness. Maybe it’s the way I look at them. Maybe it’s me! Maybe…
Maybe I should live. LIVE RIGHT NOW, right where I am. I should quiet down my thoughts and just savor this moment – the feel of the floor beneath my feet, the sound of the humming of the air conditioner, my heart beating. I won’t think of what will happen when I get off this bus or when I get to the office. I’m going to make the most of this moment.
Next, maybe I should worry less and pray more. Time is really precious and limited. I ought to stop wasting it stressing about things I cannot control and just let God handle them. Then I’ll have more time and energy for today.
I can start helping out more. I don’t have much money, but perhaps I can help in other ways. I could join a cause, like a group that cares for stray pets or teaches children, or one that distributes food to the hungry.
Maybe I can take my mom out to dinner tonight. I haven’t talked to her in a while, and I know that will make her really happy. I could smile at the stranger beside me. Who knows? It might brighten up her day. Or maybe later, I can sit down with a friend just to ask them how they are and just listen.
Maybe I should spend less time focusing on myself, and a whole lot more focusing on others. So many people need help. A simple gesture can go a long way- a smile, a compliment, or a tap on the back.
So today, as I get off the bus and go get my morning coffee, I resolve to do little things to make other people’s day brighter because I know, when I give out happiness, it will bounce right back to me.