Stephanie moved to Long Beach,
California, in the mid-seventies. At that time, she went to
classes at a college in the morning, went from the college to
her job at a restaurant in the afternoon, and went from there
back home in the evening. She got to all of these places by bus,
and she had to change buses twice. Since her schedule was pretty
regular, she usually ended up seeing the same bus drivers. After
some time she became quite acquainted with them. If Stephanie
happened to be a little late, the bus drivers would wait for
Most of the drivers were middle-aged, but they were all
very healthy and very kind. The younger ones were a little more
impatient and drove a bit fast, but on the whole they were nice
people. Sometimes if there were elderly people who couldn't make
it to the bus stop on time, the driver would wait for them. Or
if some elders needed to get off a little ways before the bus
stop, the driver would often stop right there so they wouldn't
have to walk so far.
There was one middle-aged black bus driver who was particularly respectful to the elderly, and who made a deep impression on Stephanie. When some of the elders had trouble getting on the bus, he would give them a hand and have them sit in the front rows. When they reached their stop, he would help them off the bus. The second time Stephanie saw this bus driver, he happily greeted her and praised her for being a good and kind little girl. The reason was that one day when she was on the bus, he had seen her yield her seat to an elderly person. Sometimes when there were few passengers, she would sit in the front rows, and the bus driver would talk to her. At that time her English was very poor , and she could listen more than she could speak. From talking with him she found out a lot about his conduct. It's too bad she can't remember his long name. She only knows that others called him Al.
Al was born in the countryside in Georgia. There were ten children in his family, and he was a devout Catholic. He said that when he was young, his parents taught him compassion, respect, and patience. When Stephanie told him that was similar to the traditional Chinese education, he was very happy. After a few years Stephanie started her own chain of stores, and she needed a good and honest manager near Long Beach. She immediately thought of Al, but she couldn't find him anywhere. She didn't know if he was still a bus driver, or if he had retired or changed his job.
A kind and compassionate person is always respectful towards others and knows how to carry himself. Other people like to be around him. There is a little poem called "Lovely Child." Although this poem talks about girls, boys can also learn something from it. Let's hope everyone can be a good and respectful child.
Modest as a violet, As a rosebud sweet-
That's the kind of little girl People like to meet.