The universe has a sense of humour, a sense of irony or something like that. It seems to theme periods of time for my own personal interest. This weekend whilst journeying to and around London the theme was seating and the dignity of having somewhere to park your bum.It started as I sat in an almost empty carriage with my hand bag parked on the seat next to me. A woman boarded the train and even though there were plenty of empty seats side by side, she told me to move my bag, if I had parked it there as a personal affront to her. We all meet them, people who got hurt and now believe the world treats them unfairly. So they act in such a way that the world reacts badly towards them, thus proving themselves right. I moved seats, as I have been in this play before, I know the story and it’s a bit dull, most of the script is tutting and huffing.
The next was the number 38 bus. A mother with her nine year old daughter sitting next to her in the priority seats. A man gets on the bus aided by his walking stick, and politely asks if he can take one of the seats. She reacts badly and huffs and puffs about moving her daughter onto her lap. Another old man then gets on the bus at the next stop and he invites him to sit in her seat. She goes nuts and refuses to move, thus a whole conversation about who should sit in the priority seats starts. They have missed the whole point of the priority seats, it’s not about rules, it’s about dignity! One of the hardest things about age or disability is losing your dignity when you are unable to do what others can do. It’s the loss of dignity that stops people venturing out into the world. These seats keep those people who are less able as part of our society. It stops them getting locked into their homes, locked out of social situations and keeps them able to live a life with dignity. The woman in the seat had little dignity, so might have lacked empathy for others. She starts calling him names and swearing, which doesn’t aid her cause especially with her daughter on her knee. As this is going on, a comedy line of old people, people with walking aids and even a pregnant woman all stand around the women who won’t move from the priority seat. She backed herself into a corner and just couldn’t lose face. As the bus moved the other people were trying to hang on with two hands whilst holding bags. As one woman tutted ‘what is the world coming to?’
The interesting part is how we as humans devise stories about what makes us more deserving than other people. Often it’s our past experience that makes us hang onto those stories. We can be greeted by a whole new person, but of we believe we never get our needs met or that we are unlovable, then we act in ways that make people prove that story we are telling ourselves is correct. I find it amazing how we can attract the right person into a moment to make a situation worse. For example, I know when I am in a bad mood I attract other people in a bad mood too. I know when I am smiling I attract other smiles. If you want to be a victim because you’re thinking ‘poor me’ you will attract bullies. If you don’t believe me try it, notice that what makes the difference between a good day and a bad day is you. The moment something bad happens we feel negative and more bad things happen. The same when a good thing happens. We call this being on a role!
So what if the same thing happens with love? The more we love the more we attract love and loving kindness. I have been practising this as for some reason we have it in our heads (but not our hearts) that love should be for one person and we have to wait until we find the ‘special’ one before we can love. The problem then is the special one can only come about with love. Every heard the saying relationships are like buses? You wait around for ages then two come along at once! The moment you meet someone, you meet someone else. It’s not just because you have a new sex glow, it’s also because you are being a loving being. So here the last thing on seats, guess where I am sat as I write this? On the train back to Bristol, in the first class carriage! This is because of the kindness of the train conductor, and a universe with a sense of humour. You write your own story and your life dances to that tune, so write something really good, have faith in good people, have gratitude and don’t hold on to your love. Oh and PS give up your seat for people who need it.