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The Bold Faced Blog™

September 05, 2018

5 Lessons in 1 Day

Posted 74 days ago by Sheila Lewis

Here's what happened to me yesterday. 

I went into Oakland to meet with a new client and took BART. On my ride back, I picked a seat next to an older woman who closed her eyes as we headed north. We stopped at North Berkeley (2 stops from mine) and were held for a few minutes due to a medical emergency at my station (El Ceritto del Norte). They decided to turn around and head back to SF so I got off. I sat and pondered my options. The next train arrived about 5 minutes later and took us to the next stop (El Cerrito Plaza). Unfortunately, I left my phone in my office so I couldn't call Lyft but could take a taxi as I did have my wallet. Unfortunately, we are all so often focused on our phones and apps that it really didn't occur to me to take a taxi!

It was a rare sunny and warm(er) day so I decided to walk the 2 miles to my station. I had just finished a brisk 3 mile walk around Lake Merritt but I figured that another 2 miles wouldn't hurt. As I got off of the airport property I walked by a bus stop and the older woman who had been sitting next to me on the train was there along with a BART retiree. He shared that someone had committed suicide by jumping in front of a train at my station. Whether true or a rumor, something bad had happened and I experienced immediate sadness for sure. The older woman said that a bus was coming that would take us to del Norte and that they were going to ask to ride for free given the circumstances of our travel on BART. Within 15 seconds, the bus arrived and as I got on I asked how much the ride would be. The driver said $2.35. I told him that I'd been on BART and he waived me on with no charge. We arrived at the station just as the fire truck pulled off and they re-opened the station. 

This all made me think of a few things. (1) How blessed I was to not have witnessed the act of suicide at the station. I was on the next train that was to have arrived at del Norte. (2) It's amazing how quickly a life can be erased, literally. The station was cleaned up and reopened within an hour. (3) How patience can win the day. I waited 5 extra minutes and got within 2 miles of my station. I figured that my Fitbit and my body would be proud of an additional 2-mile walk if it had been so. (4) The kindness of strangers is waiting for us, everywhere. My seatmate left the station 5 minutes before me but she recognized me and suggested the bus. I NEVER ride buses so I'm doubly grateful for her and the bus driver who let us ride for free. (5) Never forget your mobile phone. Or, as my cousin shared, maybe this day was about not having my mobile phone with me so that I could really experience everything before me.

And then there are the train operators. My brother, who works in transit in a major northwest metropolitan area, reminded me that these people sign up to move people not to remove them. He shared that it is indeed unfortunate that circumstances lead to such outcomes all too often. 

It was a day.

Tags: BART mobile phone

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