One for Many

The bus driver archetype

One for Many
Photo by Qinghong Shen / Unsplash

Stop, slow, start. SLAM THE BREAKS! Red, yellow, green, yellow, red, green, HONK!

Morning commutes can be frustrating.

I used to drive to school every day. Campus isn't far from my apartment, but just 15 minutes of weaving through traffic meant I often arrived at class frazzled, mildly irritated, and a little jumpy.

One day, I decided it was time to give public transportation a chance. I had ridden the bus before, but after one particularly sweaty experience during the first week of school, I switched to driving my own car.

Eventually though, my roommates convinced me the bus wasn't as crowded or hot anymore, so I figured why not?

You know what happened on that first bus ride? Total relaxation.

To me, that bus driver was more than just an employee of the transportation system. He was a sponge, absorbing all the little stresses of navigating traffic for everyone on the bus.

While he kept track of traffic lights, cars changing lanes, and other roadway obstacles, I could just sit and enjoy the view out the window.

The bus driver was taking on the emotional and mental frustration of driving for every person on that bus.

In turn, we could be more relaxed and hopefully patient throughout the rest of our day because we didn't have to expend the emotional toll of driving ourselves.

This archetype of the bus driver exists elsewhere in society.

Farmers, for example, take on the burden of working fields and killing animals for our food.

We still get the benefit--food to eat--without having to slaughter the animals ourselves, for a small price.

Industrialization has made it possible for one person to take on the emotional burdens of many. The work these people do provides greater peace and productivity to society as a whole.

That said, it's not all good. Especially in the case of the farmer, we get to turn a blind eye to the potential moral implications of how some farm animals are mistreated their whole lives.

Be that as it may, I have gained a greater appreciation for not just the physical, but also the emotional work many people take on for the benefit of society.

When one sacrifices their comfort to serve many, gratitude is always warranted.

Thank you, bus drivers and farmers out there--literally and figuratively.