In 2017, my NissanVersa Note was totaled by a dude driving a stolen car. After resolution of all insurance and legalities, I lacked the scratch to replace my car. Been riding LA’s Metro system. For sure, I’ve seen individuals in mental and physical pain, shredded by the LA’s economic tectonics. I must say, though, I’ve also experienced and witnessed sublime displays of generosity. I smile hearing men, women and children shouting ‘thanks bus driver,’ as they depart through the back door. Frankly, I’m touched by what I now reframe as a vein of subtle, invisible joy.
Here’s one of my periodical ‘Peeping Joy Vignettes!’ – this time the Black Man of Happiness is riding LA’s MetroWreaking Happiness! Felt someone tap me on my back at the Pasadena Lake station. My hackles rose instantly. I turned to see Lamar and his daughter. Dude was handing me a cell phone. ‘You dropped this back there.’ He pointed toward the turnstile. I patted my left pocket in panic. Empty. I almost dropped to one knee in gratitude. I took back my iphone, my lifeline. My wariness shifted to humility and gratitude. I shook his hand. Asked his name. His daughter leaned against her daddy’s waist. ‘Thanks brother! I really appreciate it.’ I held out my fist to his kid. She gave me some dap. They walked back to where they were standing. People get ready there’s a train a coming… !
BONUS EXCERPT from my book, Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My ‘Unalienable Right’ — “ … Dear Loved Ones, Brothers, your D.C. Homeboy is a grown man living and working in LA…. I am glad to be alive and among the number of human beings who embrace improvisation, imagination, and creative thinking, folks dedicated to social justice, to fair use of planetary wealth, and to a future grounded on ethical action, democratic opportunities to live in peace and prosperity, and to have safe water, air and food. I’m writing you from within a sphere and spirit of enthusiasm and profound, sometimes complicated, vitality that hums within me, even when I fail to walk my walk as a “lover, not a fighter,” to echo an old MJ song. And I stay alert for what my past has bequeathed and for what’s offered in the here-and-now on the sidewalks of our lives….” www.blackmanofhappiness.com/shop
2 thoughts on “Riding LA Metro Wreaking Happiness!”
Enjoyed your “wreaking happiness ” story of kindness instead of watching madness morning news today! Looking forward to future musings.
It’s those personal interactions and observations that color our feelings about the world and how we fit into it. I’m with your mother who urges, reminds us to practice courtesy. It goes a long, long way for humanity – whether behind the wheel or on foot.
During and at the end of the day, we’re all real humans trying to move through the day with comfort. To acknowledge the kind and thoughtful gestures of strangers, makes us all more “familyish”. It’s a wonderful feeling to go through a day accepting that a total stranger is looking out for your well being, when s/he could just as easily turn to look away or disconnect with our cares.
These stories restore hope and happiness in the every day moments of our lives, lived in happiness and connection with others. As Peter says, we don’t confuse “happy go lucky” with grounding ourselves in happiness – the joy of our everyday being – even amidst the challenges and ugliness we see so frequently (another human sleeping/sheltered under a bus stop, an orange creature tweeting – yes I’m referring to the guy whose name ryhmes with dum – p , or chump.