Thursday, September 07, 2006

Beyond Appearances

Buses in London have designated areas for passengers who are disabled, elderly, or for parents with young children. There are signs encouraging passengers to give up "designated" seats when there are passengers in need. It's all very well being compassionate but isn't "compassion" encouraging people to pass judgments?

On my bus journey home I had a seat that was not in a designated area. A woman came on the bus. She looked "elderly" then again I wasn't sure. I wondered if I should offer her my seat then I had second thoughts. What if I offer her my seat and offend her? The only thing to do is to see how I feel. Do I want to give up my seat or not? I simply wanted to relax and enjoy my journey so I closed my eyes and did just that.

A couple of months back when we were having a heat wave in London, an "elderly" woman sat next to me. I touched her hand and asked her how she was doing. She said she was perfectly fine. She told me she went to see the evangelist, Morris Cerullo, at Earls Court recently. She said it in such a matter of fact way as if I was supposed to know who she was talking about. I did. Years ago, a friend took me to a crusade by the same evangelist at the same venue. As neither of us were into religion, we thought it was boring and we didn't stay till the end. The lady said she enjoyed the crusade. She said to me "You live with your mother, don't you?" I said yes. We talked about life in general then I got off the bus. I see, an aspect of Self playing the role of an elderly lady.

A while back on a cold winter's day I was thinking to myself how cold I was. An "elderly" lady walked by and said to me "cold, isn't it?" When I looked back she'd disappeared. I ran to check whether she'd gone into the shop close by but she was nowhere to be seen.

I once saw another "elderly" looking woman on the bus who looked green underneath her skin. I did a double-take and she did look green. She caught me staring at her and I looked away. She got off soon after. Love takes all forms.

Of course there are "genuine" people who consider themselves old and disabled who expect to sit in those designated seats. I tend to avoid those areas and sit elsewhere.

Rather than judging people by appearances I prefer to go with my feeling. If I feel like offering my seat to someone, I do. If I feel like chatting to a passenger, I do. If I feel like closing my eyes and enjoying the journey, I do that too.

Similarly if a guy offers me his seat, I don't consider whether he thinks I'm a pathetic woman who needs to sit down, I graciously accept and enjoy the ride.

No matter what the appearances, love is all there is.


Related articles: When Being Good is Not Enough; Appearances Can Be Deceptive; No Matter What the Appearances, Harmony Is; The Problem with Judging By Appearances

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