Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Lady on the Bus

A very short but nevertheless an honest post today. As you know I have been doing a lot of reflecting these past days.

It is amazing how we affect the lives of others, often without ever knowing it. When I left school at the age of 15 I started work as a butcher and slaughter man. I might have still been that had I not come into contact with some people I have talked about here.

For a time I travelled home from this work on the bus. I can remember that day as clearly as if it was yesterday. I was sitting upstairs in the front seat. I had just been given a book on arithmetic, from whom I cannot remember or from where. A lady sat down beside me and passed the time of day. She asked about the book and why I had it. I remember thinking about it before answering.

I told her I had left school with no certificates or examination passes and I thought I might try and at least pass one. She said to me that if I could pass one then I would be able to pass four. She then went on to tell me that if I could do that I would be able to get entrance to college. Then for no apparent reason she said to me. “You are far too bright to be doing the job you are doing. There is a great world out there and all you need is four exam passes to start exploring it. Go on you know you can do it.”

I did, but that as you know is a long story.

I never got to thank that lady, or to let her know what a change her words had made on my thinking.

Daily we meet people and daily we have the opportunity to affect the lives of others. It is amazing what a word of encouragement can do and how destructive can be the power of a negative word.

I hope each day I can be like the lady on the bus.

 This blog is linked to my other.  Grandad


  1. Indeed; not only words of encouragement but even a smile to begin someone's day! I like my morning jaunts when I stop to smile and speak to someone. When I first moved to a big city from a small town at age 16 I went about my usual routine....saying 'good morning' and smiling at people I would meet.
    At that time I was labelled 'strange' by my just didn't go about speaking with and smiling at strangers.
    Still do... still haven't encountered any negatives in that department ... just keep on collecting a smile a day!

  2. Exactly, Ralph. I am often crushed by the words of people. I let it hurt me deeply and I don't seem to be able to insulate myself from nasty words. I am so glad you had that lady come into your life and uplift and encourage you.

  3. What a wonderful lady on the bus - to inspire you so. Well done for listening and taking her advice. I read somewhere it takes a lot more energy to make one cake clear away - then start again and make another cake from scratch - better to make 2 cakes in one go - i tell my kids it takes just as much energy to dream a small dream as it does a bigger dream ....

  4. It is awesome to connect to someone you dont know and inspire that person for life. It just takes a small step on our part to be in the shoes of that lady on the bus. But it takes many many more steps for the person who takes the words of inspiration to really get inspired and raise above himself, he needs to have a will to do that.. so more than the words of inspiration, the will to perform is what takes the person ahead, at least, this is my perception, Ralph!

  5. I suspect this lady you never got to thank, dropped lots of encouraging words along the way and changed not only your life, but the lives of many others too. They're special little angels around us...

    Ralph, an angel came to set you straight on your path. Now you're doing the same to so many people you meet. Not only on your blog, but in your life. I don't know of anyone else who has so many stories of encounters with interesting endings as you. You became the wonderful lady in your story...

  6. Good Morning, Ralph, another great day! I think it is all about expectations. She could have sat four rows away from you in fear and you might have become someone else entirely...