It was already late at night and so all I wanted to do was to take the bus ride home. I saw that there was already a short queue for the bus going to our town. But instead of falling in line, I took my chance and checked if there was still a vacant seat in the bus that was about to leave. There were I think two more women ahead of me who did the same. When I saw a vacant seat in the middle of a three-seater, I asked the man in the other seat if it was taken. He said no and stood up to give way to me. When I was already seated, the other woman who went ahead of me and was still standing poked me in the shoulder and said, ‘Oi miss, reserved pala yan.’ (Hey, that’s a reserved seat!) Obviously, she was referring to my seat and wanted me to give it up for her.
I stared at her blankly and returned to the ice cream that I was eating (I deserve a treat for a long day, after all). She then murmured something not good about me and uttered the most sarcastic tone of ‘God bless.’
Maybe I was lost for words. Or maybe I just know I could have blurted harsh words to her and I purposely avoided that option. But this I am sure of, I could have given her the seat only if 1. she asked politely and 2. if she didn’t say a lie on the seat being reserved, apparently I was not born yesterday.
Reflecting on what happened during the rest of the ride, I know I was damn right with my reaction. But I also know that my response to her attitude was wrong. I should have given the seat anyway, without buts or ifs. Instead of standing up for my principles, I should have stood up to be the bigger person. Instead of being right, I should have been kind.
The experience made me ponder on the moments in my life when I chose to be right rather than to be kind. Though there are not much of such moments because I hate arguments, I realized that those moments did more harm than good. It robs me of my time spending meaningful moments with families and friends.
I also thought of the moments when I was the one on the losing end. When people and even best friends fought their arguments to me and end up winning the battle but losing bits of my friendship in silence.
Being right than being kind strain relationships, build thick walls, cause unnecessary cold wars. And so today, I resolve to be just kind, even if it’s hard, even if I have to play dumb at times, even if I know I am right. I will be kind to end up having good friends by my side. 🙂
Which one are you going to be?