When I get on the bus my face says it all: Don’t talk to me, and ew, everybody is gross.
One day after work I found a seat in the back of the smelly, congested bus. I sat there annoyed by the uncontrollable sound of an infant crying, when a man asked me to help him navigate his phone. So I helped him and then immediately put on my headphones to avoid more interactions. But then he handed me a crinkled up 10 dollar bill and said, “Thank you so much for being so nice.”
I had assumed he was homeless based on his appearance, but he ended up giving me money that I needed. I felt guilty because my thoughts had been viciously attacking him.
I realized that I want to be the type of person who waits to make judgments until after I know the facts.
Now, when I walk on the bus I don’t isolate myself with my headphones.
I know that my habit of judging people can’t be broken overnight. It will take practice. And what better place to practice than the bus, where you meet people from all walks of life.