Every Wednesday and Friday, I take the same late-night bus home from the metro station, because it's a lot quicker than going another stop and taking my regular bus. Most of this year the driver has been the same lady, who is quite nice and greets everyone with a smile, and will chat with the old people who always seem to like to chat with people they don't know on public transportation.
Well, for the last few weeks, there have been other bus drivers taking this route. It was kind of sad. They were more surly, more tired, didn't smile, and couldn't care less if your bus pass didn't work because they didn't know you from Adam and so they certainly didn't know that it had worked every other night this month and you did, in fact, pay your monthly fare. I just kind of assumed our regular driver got switched to another route. They do that about every 9 months or so I think.
Well, tonight, she was back! And not only was I happy to see her, but just about everyone who got on the bus was a regular and was also very happy to see her. In fact, I was surprised at how happy I was to see her. I hadn't really noticed how much I had missed her. It's odd - it's not like we're friends or anything, but the "homecoming" greetings she was getting from people at every stop was as if she was a close friend or family member who had been away and left a hole in our lives.
It was just really nice. Who knew that being a good bus driver could make so many people so happy. Small things, people, small things.
Mother Theresa said that it's not the greatness of the things that you do that counts, but how much love you put in the doing. I saw that tonight, reflected in the smile of a bus driver and the joy of the people who greeted her like a good friend that they were happy to see again.
We should all be so fortunate to make such a difference to others.