Today I boarded “ trotro” going to town to get a new dress for Christmas. I was seated by the window which according to me, is the best seat in any public transport! (that is a debate for another day) I was fidgeting with my phone as I usually do when I am bored and in public. From the corner of my eye, I could see an unkempt young man approaching the window where I was seated and had extended his hand towards me. Instinctively, I lowered my phone and shot him a dirty look!
But I was dead wrong about the young man and what I thought he was about to do. In my mind’s eye, I thought he was about to snatch my phone through the window. Not knowing, he was only returning my purse which had fallen out of the window when I sat down in the bus.
Filled with shame, I smiled at him and thanked him for returning my purse. There are times we misjudge people based on appearance or how they talk. But experience has taught me that people are not always what they seem. Human behaviour and character goes beyond appearance and polished English.
It is ok to be cautious of your environment and surroundings but we must learn not to let caution turn into fear of others who may not necessarily want to harm anyone. Life is already difficult for some of these people on the street; we can make it a little easy for them by being respectful in our dealings with them.
I wish I had reacted better when the young man approached me. Nonetheless, I have decided that henceforth I will do my best to be humane to others who are less privileged than I am. I will smile at them when our faces meet instead of looking away or avoiding their gaze.
I am not asking people to lay down their guard when they are in public. I am only saying we need to treat people a little better instead of harbouring stereotypical mindsets against them
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