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On The Bus To Karma Town

, , , , , , , | Friendly | April 24, 2023

I was on the bus, and just after I had given up my seat to an old man, another even older and frailer man boarded. I did something I had never done before; I tapped the shoulder of the teenager in a school uniform concentrating on her phone and asked her to stand. She obediently did, but the man refused her seat. I don’t know if it’s pride or old-fashioned manners, but some older guys are unwilling to accept a seat from a woman, no matter how able she is and how much he needs it.

I told the teenager to sit down again, but she declined. She clearly wasn’t ecstatic to be standing but was okay with it. While my grey hair gave me cover, I wasn’t going to take the seat, because that would mean I had imperiously ordered a child to give me her seat! There was another woman standing nearby, somewhere between our ages, and I guess she didn’t need it, either. Because of how we were standing, no one else could access the seat, so the three of us stood around this empty seat. The old man had found a seat further down the bus.

After a couple more stops, the woman standing beside me turned to the teenager, pointed at the ground, and asked:

Woman: “Is that your photo ID?”

It turns out the teenager’s photo Oyster Card (transport ticket) and ATM card had slipped onto the floor as she’d been sitting. If she had remained seated until her stop, she would have lost both cards, which at the minimum would have been a hassle, and depending on who picked them up, could have been an ordeal. 

It felt like a good example of Karma; the universe rewarded her good deed by returning her cards to her.

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