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  • Writer's pictureLianne van der Walt


Climbing onto a tram in Melbourne yesterday, I felt like a celebrity. The driver welcomed me, acknowledging the fact that this was my second tram trip. He must have seen me climbing off another tram. I was so surprised by this announcement over the public address system that I was at first not sure he was in fact talking to me. He smiled in his rear-view mirror as he made sure I was seated before driving off. I noticed he was wearing a bow tie and his eyes were smiling.

Passengers climbed on and off, and he greeted each in their native tongue. He spoke Chinese, some Hindi, a little Maori but mostly the language of love. He wished people good day and he blessed them with, “Namaste.” He talked about the weather and gave a quick movie review as we rumbled past a cinema complex. He pointed out a public swimming pool and called out each upcoming stop with enthusiasm. His warmth and generosity of Spirit touched every one of us on that tram. His ongoing commentary made people smile, some of us even found ourselves laughing as we made eye contact, enjoying his sense of humour. The energy on that tram was so different to any other I have ever been on and it was all because of one person who chose to let his guard down and connect with those around him. His mood was contagious, we were all affected by it. People visibly relaxed and sat chatting to each other. I found myself smiling at a lady in a hat sitting opposite me. We talked so much I missed my stop and had to walk an extra kilometre back - I had enjoyed the ride so much I did not want to climb off. The tram driver thanked me for coming aboard and I actually felt reluctant to leave. It took just one person to shift the energy on that tram, imagine what could happen if we all made an effort to be kind.

This short tram ride made me think about Life. We rush from one point to another, until one day we get to our final stop sooner than we had anticipated. Was all that rushing worth it, did we make the most of our ride, did we connect with all the amazing people we met along the way, did we glance out the window at the scenery and most importantly of all – did we make the ride an enjoyable one for those around us?

· Remove your headphones

· Open your eyes and ears to the world around you

· Be aware of what is happening and who is around you

· Look out the window and see the scenery

· Smile at someone.

· Enjoy the ride

· Be kind

· Be willing to laugh

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