How does one who drives a bus make a statement without saying a word, bring joy, appreciation and hope to others, and show in living color who he is?
Come with me and I will tell you what I discovered one morning early last week as I headed into work. It was extremely cold outside, my body shook, and I shivered. I wanted nothing more than to be at home snuggled in my bed and yet there I was waiting for a bus downtown. I was delighted to see that bus come down the ramp. I was still sleepy but my mind raced with plans of getting to work, doing my job and getting home as quickly as possible to enjoy the warmth of my home and family. I was not looking forward to the day ahead and I was quite surprised by a most unusual sight. As the doors opened, I was greeted by a smiling Santa capped Bus Driver and his Christmas Tree Bus. As I walked down the aisle, looking for a seat, the day ahead appeared brighter!
Ask Bob Corbin, PRTC bus driver, #344, why he greets each passenger with a smile and he will tell you that his bus is his Christmas Tree. Each day with his Christmas Tree near, he begins his route with joy and appreciation in his heart. Look around and your eyes will feast on his creativity and you will become aware that this is an extraordinary bus and an extraordinary bus driver. Bob's dashboard is decorated with pointsettas and the roof above his head sports a piece of mistletoe. Each window is festooned with green garland, red ribbons, and candy canes. The garland and candy canes swing gently to and fro as he turns each corner and the tinsel continually glitters.
With Christmas still a couple of weeks away, Bob says that he is still decorating and his tree is still a work in progress. He points to more ornaments in the bins above his passengers, directs your attention to his toy soldiers which stand tall at the rear of the bus, and he promises to be in a full Santa Suit before Christmas arrives. He, in true Santa like fashion, smiles brightly and when asked about the decorations, he says he has been doing this for the last three years. As the holidays come and go, he changes his decorations with the season.
The one constant..in his decorations, no matter what time of year, is the red, white, and blue banner tape and the flags which wave in tribute to our Veterans. The banner and flags stay up year round demonstrating in visual terms, what Bob values. Bob, a veteran himself, gets to know his riders and their families. At this point, he is not aware of anyone who is serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. They have all returned home safely. In months past, he proudly displayed the pictures of those serving overseas on his tribute board to Veterans.
As I look around, I am no longer sleepy, and I reflect on his gift of joy, appreciation and hope. I am no longer anxious to get work or to get home. I am content, at peace, and enjoy the moment, simply riding in the Christmas Tree bus, just like Bob.
This bus and driver, cause me to ponder. I wonder what you and I can do, during this busy time of year, to showcase our unique selves while sharing joy, appreciation and hope with others? Can we do something unique and bring joy, hope and appreciation to those who we meet? I am inspired by Bob and hope you are too. I encourage you take the Holiday Hope and Healing Headwind, to explore new experiences, and to move forward in action to show others what we stand for and to demonstrate our appreciation. What action can we take to find and give joy, appreciation and hope to others in unusual places?
I look forward to hearing about where you go and who you meet.