Last Thursday, as my full-day school finally came to an end, I urged myself to talk to my school-driver along our way home. There were no other children for her to pick up that day, so it was just the two of us in the vehicle – which was a call for my inner journalist self to ask her a few questions, hear her talk about herself a little.
Throughout these past couple of years, I’ve always seen her as this stern, disciplined, stone-cold individual – which made it quite hard for me to see the good in her from a backseat’s eye-view. All I know is: she is (literally) loud, but acts responsible for the punctuality of her passengers, and is almost always in a hurry when wanting to get, honestly? Just about anywhere. I kind of disliked her somewhere along our early to almost-late excursions, as I had to wake up extra early everyday, to loose a few good hours of sleep due to her early pick-up schedule for our ride to school. But in time, I knew it was just my lazy-bone, immature, rebel self that got the better of me, and it actually feels rewarding to be the first few people to arrive at school once I got used to it.
Our ride home was brief, but just about enough to get the amount of information beyond my understanding about her – which opened a whole new perspective on her being the actual person that she is. By means, I never really thought that she owns a 2-decade-long packaging distribution company located at the east side of town, and drives herself there everyday still, to run its ongoing existence. Becoming a school-driver was never really her main source of income (though it does provide her to some degree), rather it was her way of serving those around her – providing transportation for elementary, junior high, and even senior high school students at our school who needed them. She’d normally listen to the little kids tell stories on their way home – she loves them.
The part where I said that she was a hard-rock, stone-cold individual at the beginning? Well, turns out she admitted that it was her language for affection towards myself, to reprimand me into waking up earlier, and to constantly remind me of how very important it is to master time-management now for the sake of my future as a member of society jumping into the real world.
Once we arrived home, I gave her my thanks, like I always do, and bid her farewell as I smiled the whole way to the front of my doorstep. It’s little uncalled stories like this from those around you that build you the most. This goes to show that there is in fact, more beyond what the eyes may see, and it is necessary to squeeze yourself in the other person’s shoes to get to know them better once in a while. I’ve learned how natural it is if the first thing that comes through your mind may be awful, but that does not entirely mean you may use it as grounds to label them as the villains of the stories they bring.
The first thing that goes through your mind is what you are conditioned to think, the second one after defines who you are.
That woman whom you thought was reckless for throwing a fit in front of the shopkeeper she was having transactions with?
She may be having a bad day, and was just upset because her husband isn’t coming home for dinner that night.
That slow, queue-triggering cashier whom you thought was incompetent at doing his job?
He may be struggling to adapt himself to the new atmosphere during his first day at work.
That girl whom you thought was a whore for toying with all the guys around her?
She may not have a proper family at home, and is probably lonely, and has no clue on how to simply react to her given situation.
That boy whom you thought won’t succeed in life because he never really seems to be good at doing anything,
he actually lacks motivation from the people closest to him, and just needed someone to encourage him into being better.
Acting as a self-proclaimed journalist a little while ago, to tackle working on my small tribute of our batch’s performing arts, by conducting short interviews towards the people involved in this huge project had really broadened my perspective on things. It felt refreshing to see them fess up the good and bad within each of their abundant roles (and vice versa). To have them read their compiled stories on that post have also managed to clear a few things out of the way on several people whom they might have thought differently way before reading the post. I secretly hope that the post delivered the hidden message it possessed to those who read it: what you see is not always what you get.
Thus ends my little story for tonight – apologies though, if it may sound either basic or uninteresting for you to peruse on. Haven’t actually been writing that much lately. Still, I hope that at least this post could act as a small reminder for you to always seek through the different sides of the stories you see everyday before creating potentially false assumptions of your own. (:
Cheers to being aware of your surroundings!