The other day I was in a bus going home from work and there was this very obnoxious passenger in the bus who thought he could make himself appear any better by belittling some other “poor fellow” – that’s exactly how they make it look. He just chose to pick on the conductor and brow beat him with demeaning words.
At first I took his first couple of words as a mere joke – and so did the rest of us in the bus – until the words began to become too annoying to listen to. He insulted the conductor, his position as compared to the driver, his profession, his social standing . . . and all the while he exuded this very irritating air of superiority.
And he wouldn’t just stop. The rest of us in the bus had obviously had our share of a crazy work day that had made us pretty edgy and quite a number of us just wanted to get home and get the whole work thing off for the night but this man was dredging up all the stored angst. At some point, some told him outright to shut and lay off the conduction but he’ll just smile and pick another line of insult.
The conductor kept responding until at some point he was beat. He couldn’t muster any kind of comeback to this unreasonable man’s mindless insults. Though he wouldn’t blatantly reveal it, he was conceding, he was accepting the man’s insult, he was wishing he was a better man, with a better job . . . he was wishing life was just a little bit fairer to him.
It was at that point that I turned to see the face of the man who could so easily demean a working man (in this our very terrible economic situation), a man who would allow himself belittle another man who shouts his destination to call passengers from dawn till mid night everyday for 7 days just so he and his family will continue to survive, a man that could be so insensitive to the plight and pride of another man, a man who delights in crushing another man’s spirit, and there he was, with carved, greying beards on his 50ish kind of face, bald and pretty much ordinary.
There really was nothing special about him. He saw me looking, then winked and smiled at me and said he just needed to catch some fun. And I was like, “how do you think any of what you said was funny?” You just revealed to the rest of us that you are a thoughtless, mean-spirited, inconsiderate, selfish (no strike that), self centred, Machiavellian. What you really succeeded in doing was in unveiling your foolishness. What man in his right senses will see another man struggling to eke out a living and still think it right to publicly deride him – and that for fun? You can’t raise your state or status by putting others down. A man who takes delight in putting another man down is no man at all; he doesn’t know what it means to be a man.
A part of that conductor would not forget what that man did to him, he’ll go home playing that tape over and again in his mind. He might transfer the shame and whatever else you’ve made him feel to his wife, kids, and everyone else around.
He’s a man like you, a hustling man. A father, a husband, a friend . . . If you’re any of those things, then you’ll know being a real man is one of the earth’s toughest jobs.
Copied from Ezeogu Chukwuemeka’s Facebook timeline. Follow him on twitter @smartchux.
So there you have it. Stop bringing people down with your words. Uplift their spirits. Respect their work.
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