Monday, June 1, 2015
Thoughts On Getting On "The Progress Bus" Or Else Being Run Over By It
July 27, 2014
After just reading a post about lay-offs in a changing world ("Get On The Bus Or Get Run Over By It"), I decided to post my reply to that post in the form of my own post.
I'm not arguing with the point made in the original post, by any means. It's just that the few thoughts I had to offer (on top of the very valid points made already) would run too long for the comment box.
There's no doubt that there are times when one has to "get on the bus or be run over by it". On the other hand, sometimes getting on the bus isn't always the best idea.
The trouble is... Sometimes if you get on the bus you have to deal with a lot of junk/people you'd rather not deal with on a regular basis. Sometimes all the stops a bus makes means you take longer getting there and/or may have to still walk a few blocks once you get off the bus. By virtue of their pre-planned routes that aim to accommodate as many people as possible, there are times when the bus is perfect for a very few riders or else is essentially very imperfect for a majority of other riders.
When all is said and done, there is always one route and one driver (and hopefully that one driver isn't the an idiot who takes turn too fast and/or who operates under the influence of one substance or another - but that's a subject for another time).
The point is that any time someone else is driving, and particularly if that someone else is following a pre-planned route that's designed to accommodate "the masses" or the lowest common denominator or (in the case of some buses) mainly one group of people who tend to all be going to the same place); the bus-rider is always following someone else's program and/or just waiting to get to where he really wants to be.
There are times when it's better not to just ride the next bus that comes along. Sometimes it's better to wait for a different bus. At other times, it's actually better still to stay off some buses entirely and find another way to get where one wants to be. The good sense and reason in that line of thought isn't just for those rare times when one might be thankful not to have been riding on a bus that crashed or even broke down and left passengers stranded. The other good sense and reason in carefully staying off (and away from, of course) buses is that any time one makes his own way to where he wants to be; while it may require more concentration, more dealing with traffic, or more time or effort; there will most often be those times when buses, at best, bring people only closer to where they want to be and/or right to where they want to be (once they've put up with all the stuff and people they had to put up with on the way from there to here).
The thing about buses and getting run over is that sometimes those who are run over by buses are those who didn't know how to stay far enough away from them in order not to be run over.
Getting away from the bus metaphor, and getting to a real cse of a bus and a person who chose not ride one; my grandfather was a spry and thin man who had grown up in the days of horses-and-buggies that were still around even as cars became more and more commonplace. He was just past eighty years old when he was hit by a bus and killed in the small city that had been his home since childhood. He walked anywhere he needed or wanted to walk, and did. Not only did he do his socializing in "the real world" (and not on any buses or "Internets"), but he walked phenomenal distances for anyone, not just for an elderly man.
He was apparently fit enough that when, in the late 1950's, his broken hip required whatever kind of pin(s) they used in those days; his walking days resumed (although with the use of a cane) once he recovered from the hip surgery.
When he was hit by the bus that was, I guess, pulling away from a stop it was said that the bus driver didn't see him. I don't know the details, but obviously it's unlikely that a bus driver would hit a man with the bus if he did see him. Maybe the bus driver was more careless than he should have been. Maybe my grandfather did step out from behind, say, a parked car. He was a small man. Maybe he had lost some mental sharpness at that point (although I saw no signs of that when he'd be talking to any of us).
Maybe it would have been better for him if he'd gotten on the "get-a-car bus" once horses-and-buggies were pretty much a thing of the past. The thing is, though, sometimes there are worse things than being hit by a bus in an ever-advancing society; because - when all is said and done - there is always one price or fare or another involved with being so afraid of being hit by "The Bus", or a bus) that one disregards the cost and/or compromise most often involved with going along for the ride.
Posted by ME Whelan at 10:33 PM