One evening, while riding the bus to work, I was talking with the driver about social issues; his choice of subject. After several minutes of listening to him talk about how some big revolution needs to happen to avoid being trumped during the next 4 years, I told him, “Nzo, we don’t need something big. We simply need to smile more at each other! Simply taking the time to really look into a stranger’s eyes, and smile, may have such a profound affect on the global human community, (similar to the way a butterfly’s flight in Nicaragua may alter the course of a typhoon in Japan), that we cannot begin to fathom the favorable, Love, and Light generating consequences.”
A few days later, the evening had shifted into night, by the time I reached 5th, and Mission. When I arrived there, the rain had stopped too, the rats at the old Mint were coming out to find something to eat, and the homeless were finding places to settle for the night, in hope of getting a sleep dry, and deep enough to ignore the cold throughout the night. I departed from the [San Francisco] Chronicle corner of the intersection, heading northward to the southbound MUNI stop across the street. I slowly approached the stop, looked to see that the LCD readout of the upcoming bus arrival times, and saw that I had enough minutes to casually walk up to the next stop, at which I thought I would feel safer, that night.
As I began to leave the stop, a short, apparently homeless, filthy, and DEFinitely remarkably deranged Asian man passed me, apparently on his way to the bus stop also. He was ambling about, “rambabbling” [rambling + babbling] in his native language, [which may have been Cantonese], and he was remarkably feral in his wariness of other people. I looked him in the eye, smiled at him, said, “Hi!”, and sauntered away.
Halfway up the block, I heard footsteps approaching, from behind me, on my right side. Very soon, I saw the footsteps belonged to that man. They fell right in step with mine. Clearly, he intended to walk with me, as he continued his rambabbling.
We walked together, casually making our way toward the next corner, which was at least 50 yards away. I had no clue what he was saying, but I could sense that he really needed to be heard; so, as he spoke; so, I calmly looked him in the eye, and really listened. Very quickly, I could see incredibly deep gratitude in his eyes as he knew I couldn’t understand him, but that I was willing to really BE with him, and to listen to him. Frequently, as he spoke, he gave me a quick questioning look; questioning if I was really listening to him. As we reached the half point of that short journey, when it was clear to him that my attention was mostly, and quite receptively on him, he apparently began to outpour a sincerely big part of his heart, of his pain, of his struggles, of his dismay, perhaps of his loneliness…
It was a sad conversation, but I was mindfully in it, and we just shared that time like two friends; one listening, one venting. As we neared the next intersection, I told him “I wish I knew your language, so I could understand what you’re saying”; and he continued to talk, and I continued to look him in the eye, and to listen to him.
When we reached the intersecting sidewalk. he stopped walking, almost as if on cue. I turned to him, paused, and listened to him finish his final sentence to me. He looked at me with gratitude so deep, it was almost palpable—simply because I had taken those few minutes to allow him to be heard, without judgment, or a need to get away from him. I smile to him again, calmly waved goodbye to him, said “Good night!”, and walked across the street to the next bus stop. He went his own way too, I know not where; two children of the night, receding again into their respective Shadows.
Although I don’t know where he went to, I do know that he was gentler, calmer, and a man with increased inner quiet, after our conversation, than he was before it. All I did was to let him walk alongside me for half a block, to treat him like he was a normal person—and to have a genuine conversation with him, even though I had zero clue about what he was saying. Being present, and being Love was all that mattered; that’s what he needed, that’s what he hoped for, when he approached me, and that is what he deserved.
Like butterflies, he, and I changed the world that night. Neither of us will be the same as we were before that, because we had a pure Love exchange. I simply decided to just be Love, and to be truly present with him, and, with me being present, he allowed Love to help him to release some of the pressure that caused him to rambabble sometimes. In my space, I held space for him, and I will never forget the “Thank you!” that was in his eyes as we parted!
This holiday season, give someone the gift of being truly present with her, or him! If some place, some time, you suddenly find yourself in a similar scenario, don’t run from the “bum”, even if he, or she smells awful—if the smell is so acrid that is literally hurts to breathe, I wouldn’t linger, however, I wouldn’t be less loving. Just Be Love by allowing Love to Be through you, in Her Silence, in Her receptivity, in Her strength, and as Her Presence. If you really wanna change the world, remember, in the midst of your great plans, and preparations, sometimes, all you need to do is to
just Be Love!
Written by Alyras.
Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.