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The Bus Home: How Some Conversations Are Impossible To Ignore

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posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 05:48 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

I remember not too long ago I made a foolish and dangerous mistake on a train.

I was travelling with the two people who mean more to me than anything. When the train arrived it was not too busy but most carriages were fairly full. Luckily we managed to find three seats together where we sat and engaged in quiet, casusal conversation about the day, plans for the evening and life in general. Even as the train moved off it became apparent that things were a little quiet. Then, from the far end of the carriage, someone started raising their voice in hostile tones obviously offered for all to hear. It wasn't long before the chap stood and started shouting, his words clearer now it became apparent he was on at a young Chinese lad who happened to be sitting alone, across the isle from where I was. "Go back home... fekken chink... " alongside other dross one might expect in such a situation.

Intially I looked over to the boy and tried to go some way to reassuring him that he wasn't alone and such behaviour wasn't appreciated. He spoke only very broken English and was obviously feeling totally alone. As we spoke I waited and waited for those nearer the drunk to tell him to quieten down but as it went on and it became apparent that no-one else was going to interviene (there were a number of single chaps who one might have expected to comment) and too that the boy was feeling increasingly both more vulnerable and embarrassed, my frustration grew.

Ultimately, with more anger than sense, I stood up to reply. I was quite aggressive. Fortunately the drunk chap sat down and went silent. I looked over to the boy and apoligised, he offered a small smile, a nod and a thank you. The embarassed silence from the other occupants of the carriage only grew.

It was at this point I was gifted a lesson: The two I was with engaged in conversation with the chap and the rest of the journey was spent that way. It became apparent to me that my actions were not only foolish in putting those I loved at risk but it was that offered to him through gentle words of kindness and friendship which changed the atmosphere and reassured him far more than my actions.

My actions were foolish and dangerous. I had become distracted by volume and let it draw my ire and aim rather than stay focused on what was important, what was - I believed - the central reason for my involvment.

As can be seen the encounter had a lasting effect upon me.

There are, of course, times when aggression needs to be confronted. Frequently though, just as with those who blindly commited to standing in a political corner, engaging in hostilities with such people does nothing but encourage an immediate defence and, somewhat perversly, through the very act of being opposed, lend to the self a sense of worth through nurturing an embattled, besieged sense of righteousness. It seems to me though that frequently it's far better to act in a way which lends ease, provides an opportunity for people to unite and, who knows, may even inspire others to do the same rather than be drawn down into the mire. In my experience it usually far more effective to inspire another to action of their own volition than attempt to impose upon them a course of action with which they have no affinity.

Too often anger and frustration have left me a fool; decieving me, for their own excercise, as to where my efforts should be directed. No doubt they will do so again but that gentle lesson in focus and compassion has at least left me better prepared to guard against them.

You've been here a long time TrueBrit and I've found it worthwhile to pause and read your words. You have displayed strength enough even to lend to others - far better it goes to those are in need and who might build upon it.

As to why there may be an increase in behaviour which we may view as disagreeable and even (unwittingly) destructive for all concerned I think, just as with drug addiction, time has moved so that it's not enough to pay lip-service to such matters in carelessly asking question 'Why?' then sitting back, ticking the 'effort expended' box and asking for votes in return but rather, if genuine answers are sought, from truly considering and addressing the bleakness which prompts the answer 'Why not?'.

Take care TrueBrit.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 05:59 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

I am left wondering what kind of a country I live in, where I am aware that saying and doing the right thing will always be worse for me and mine, than doing and saying nothing. I am ashamed of my restraint. I appeased someone and I hate myself at the moment for so doing. I would like to discuss the state of things today in this country, what it means when even I have my mouth shuttered by the possible legal ramifications of my words and deeds. What would you have done, how would you have done it, and how much would your choice be effected by things other than your gut?

From what you have written, I can clearly see you have a good heart and mind and want to do anything possible to help a bad situation. I don't think you would of walked away feeling any differently had you intervened. It is a catch 22 type of scenario, all outcomes don't work in favor of all, especially for you. Chalk it up to a contemplation experience for yourself and others. If it had not happened, you would not of come and written about it. You have retold your experience here so that others may walk away contemplating the scenario. You thought the consequences through in totality of what could of or would of happened based on your actions and or involvement in the situation. You have shown true and deep empathy and consideration on all sides for situations...

I don't know how I would react...honestly. I'm a piddly little wimp when it comes to confrontation, especially if I know someone could get physically hurt. But I can say that my reaction would be justified in my mind/head while to another it could or would come across as absurd. We all do that.

I find myself in these types of contemplating thought scenarios daily... At the end of each day I contemplate everything I say and do, I replay it if you will, and try to think of how I could of or should of handled this or that situation better. I also look at how everyone around me acted or reacted and contemplate how I think they could of or should of reacted differently. I usually can never come to the best conclusion one way or the other in my head. There are always pros and cons to everything. Woulda Coulda Shoulda...


posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 06:08 AM
I find a bit of ambivalence in me on this issue, because of the culture clash I struggle with.

I come from a place very oriented towards individual freedom of expression, in which it is not PC to tell another what they should or shouldn't do or be. But I am living in a culture that is the exact opposite on that- they believe that a person cannot see themselves clearly without the mirror that is others around them... you can't see your own mistakes or flaws, and if no one points them out, you never will.

That, along with a strong attachment to conformity as the key to civil behavior, means that people spend all their time telling others what they should or shouldn't do or be, whether asked or not for their opinion. You can literally have a stranger stop you in the grocery to tell you you made a mistake buying that shirt, it looks terrible on you (and telling you what type of shirt you need to find instead).

I hate this, it drives me bonkers. I have been known to grimace and bare my teeth in a menacing growl at people for this.

On the other hand, I cannot help but acknowledge I see some constructive benefit in extreme cases, such as the one you describe. Especially with young people who need to become aware of acceptable behavior, how others react to them and the consequences- we do them no favor by keeping quiet. Besides, much of the time they are looking for a reaction; they are searching for the limits. Coming up with nothing, they keep poking further....

It might make no difference in the moment, with that girl, but it might in the long run, if others do it too. It would provide some experiences for her to reflect upon when the time comes that she wants the benefits of civil in a community.
Of course nothing will wake her up until that moment, but when the moment comes, the experiences she has with "mirrors" around her can give her some guidance.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 06:10 AM

looked "like, you know, dirty, and a bit of a ******* tramp yeah? Like a used condom or sumfin

Hehehe ok that was funny.

I think you did the correct thing. When I was in the London, I made a terrible mistake of "rising to the bait". These guys and girls was standing near us and hearing us speaking in our language, they started calling us Polish and telling us to go back home... we're not Polish.... and they found this out. We say you know, we are Serbs on holiday blah blah blah, baaad mistake. They make fun of our English, they say these horrible words... One says he was glad we got bombed.... and this is the story of how I am wanted for aggravated assault in the UK....

It was only after, I realised, they was looking for a fight, even the girls. It did not matter where we are from, or who we are. Some people, they have these terrible words they say, and they are just wanting somebody to hear them. They are just waiting. Maybe you might think is sexist, but at least where I am from.... we like women with class. So repulsive, to see these young girls drinking in the street and harrassing people. I have learned it is always best to ignore, else you get in trouble. Some fights you know, you cannot win, no matter how hard you can hit or how sharp is your wit.

Like playing chess with the pigeon, no matter if you win he will sh*t all over the board and act like he's king regardless.

And if you are a guy, and she is a girl, well some girls sadly take advantage of this to say horrible things without revenge from you. Maybe she even could have attacked you. You know, she probably was on drugs... I know it can be sooo frustrating, but narkos, what can you do. They will always think they is better than you. Something wrong in the brain or something.

Actually I think there is a big loss of manners and dignity in today's kids. I dunno what happens, maybe their parents never smack them?

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 06:12 AM
I sympathize with your plight True Brit. You undoubtedly were standing on the higher moral ground and felt compelled to set this foul mouthed tramp straight, but self preservation among other considerations held you back from expressing your heart felt responses. Personally, as much as I've seen, heard and experienced throughout my life, I've come to the attitude that I can't make any emotional investment in setting things straight. Pearls to swine in most cases, but my heart has hardened over the years and I actually feel better for it now.

I value my own emotional well being and refuse, in most cases, to expend any emotional energy on most anything these days, it is far too taxing and disruptive to invest my emotional assets on issues I used to (and still do) find important. So I've basically become detached from such personal involvement at the loss of a large part of my humanity, however, by not giving a rat's rear end about most everything (and I really mean everything), I find a greater calm in my life.

As contrary as this statement may seem, being emotionally detached actually makes me happier and keeps me out of any trouble I am ultimately asking for. Don't sweet it and let all the BS in life go, you'll be better off in the end. Toss that emotional baggage away and travel lightly through the rest of your life, I have and I feel better off for it.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 06:44 AM
I used to get the bus all the time.

I often wondered if it would not be a good idea for the Police to sit a undercover at the back of the bus just to ease drop on these conversations and record them. I think if they had done that based on my own ease dropping they would have eradicated the drugs problem in my City.

I heard some pretty wired stuff, I found out the best place to buy heroin and who was importing it from other cities for example. I learned quite a lot about how the criminal class were beating the crap out of each other and also something rather graphic about a lesbian relationship in prison. The really stage stuff was the guys on the bus telling everyone about their STD's (not joke this happened all the time) I even heard one guy admitting to sexual assault.

There were a few times i got involved, but that was usually drunks shouting racist abuse or something like that.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 07:08 AM
a reply to: subfab


I understand where you might get the impression that this incident is related to the very real problem of multiple personas, and cross bleed between them, as a result of over abundance of data access on mobile phones and the like.

However, it would be improper for me to assume such myself because when I was a lad, things were much the same, with rude boys and ladettes already well established as a cultural phenomenon, at least locally.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 08:27 AM
This is something which a lot of us endure on a regular basis. I applaud your self-control for not opening your mouth.
What I have found is that you can say things as they are, but she would not care to listen and discredit you and your truthful words without ever thinking about the incident again. But if you use the right words, in the right conversation at the right time you can lead individuals such as this one to the end result you desire.

Saying things directly will make her overly defensive and she will probably get pretty steamed at you. But if you let her get to the answers on her own by saying the right things at the right time, she will value her 'own' opinion a lot more and perhaps even take it to heart.

Don't let these sub-humans win, simply by allowing her to change your emotions from positive to negative she has already one-uped you. The one thing that helps me to forget about these individuals is remembering that you are probably a lot happier than she is, and that she lives in the realm of emotional highs and lows, but never a feeling of being content. Although I guess this is in part one of the reasons she irritates you, you know she can be a lot happier living a life with stability and a feeling of responsibility, and she will be a greater asset to the community in a stable state.

Also remind yourself that many individuals such as these are victims of circumstance, perhaps she has never been exposed to proper intellectual thought and discussions ie. she doesn't know any better...

I hope in future these people won't get under your skin the way she did, a lot of them just don't have loving friends and family and do their best to escape their reality.


posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 08:45 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Just for an example, have you ever watched that show "Skins"?

I mean the UK version not the US, although I imagine they are the same without the nudity and swearing. I mean I was rebellious as hell in my youth, but these children are in their last year of high school, head off to university and.........well let's just say it ran 7 seasons, so it must have been quite popular with the youth?

I think it is part of social conditioning, lack of hope for a future in this crazy world and just flat out piss poor parenting either because mom and pops are too damn busy trying to money or just don't give a damn......

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 09:42 AM
a reply to: GreenGunther

Well that is just it though... Everyone has access now to the greatest store of knowledge that has ever existed, greater in data density than any library or archive ever to exist before it, the Internet. The particular example of humanities waste of its own fleshly resources, responsible for the foul mouthed blather on the bus, was of the mobile phone, constant access to information variety.

Now, if one actually has access to information, which anyone attached to the net has, then one has no excuse for maintaining ones ignorance. Indeed, it is physically impossible to remain ignorant when one is attached to such a data source, unless one deliberately defends their ignorance. These individuals wear their ignorance like a badge of honour, proudly displaying it every time they open their mouths.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 09:57 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

I am ashamed of my restraint.

I know.

It took me a while to find a way dealing with such situations without being a Dick Cheney myself or actually provoking more of the same.

Nowadays I would say something confusing, like "you're such a warm ray of light!" and enjoy the following moment of silence with a wide grin. It usually stops right there if you catch them by surprise. Most people need a few minutes to cope with the plethora of subversive hints given in this one sentance, but they usually get it.

Hope you had some fun with the movie at last.

edit on 18-2-2016 by PublicOpinion because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 10:14 AM
I guess it would depend where you live. In my small city is very common for the bus driver to stop and throw the noisy kids out if they don't behave. People use to make the young aware if they put their feet on the chair or don't get up for an elder. In your case I'm sure there would have been more then one person to take a stance on that girl.
But if most people prefer to turn a blind eye or you feel in danger for speaking your mind then is difficult to take action.

I am grateful to live in a place where I'm not afraid to turn to the person next to me and ask to lower the conversation tone if it bothers me. I realize now how important it is for everyone to feel safe among other people.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 10:17 AM
I'm surprised at how many feel it is better to ignore, do nothing, not let it get to you...

It's just curious... maybe I need to digest it more over time, but at first it just sounds like saying, "stay within your little bubble, do not care about anything around you, let the violent, the hostile, do as they wish and have the society. "

It sounds like the adults abandoning the young in favor of their telephone screens. RL - leave that to the Lord of the Flies.

It sounds... selfish? My immediate comfort first and foremost.

But that is a first impression. I promise to let the concept simmer and perhaps become clearer...

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 12:22 PM
a reply to: TrueBrit
At least they weren't planning on beating the woman up; although, I know you would have stepped up to the bat then, so don't feel so bad.Like Kandinsky says, pick your battles.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 12:56 PM
a reply to: Bluesma

I think it very much depends on the situation. I thought the OP should not have necessarily felt compelled to intervene at all.... while at the same time I couldn't have blamed him if he did. Yes, punk kids of that age can be remarkably obnoxious, but to an extent I have to say "Sticks and stones" and all that. My guess is in the OP's story the punks were singling out another passenger to hurl their vile at. In cases like that, while not getting into it with the punks, I think simply giving some kind/supporting words to their target is fine. Something like, "Hey, they're a bunch of drugged-out losers. Pay no mind to the babble coming out of their otherwise empty heads."

If someone is being physically assaulted, then that is another story entirely.

As far as this type of situation in general, I think geography plays a part as well. I live in a relatively quiet suburb but I work in a relatively rough part of a large city (a city that is off to a banner year for random people getting slashed by nut-jobs). This is where you may consider me as one of the "selfish" variety. The thing is, while I will help people in need when possible, the moment my wife became a mother and I became a father, my primary duty in this world is to come home to him at the end of each day. To be completely candid, and I care not if people find this cowardly or selfish, I cant and/or wont risk getting myself killed over something so petty as some morons being loud or disruptive on a train or bus.

One last thought, over the years I've found that most people that behave remarkably badly in public, are also remarkably unhappy in/with their lives. While shouting down some punk may make me feel better for a few moments, in the big picture, there is nothing that I can do to make that person's life any more miserable than it already is.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 01:25 PM
a reply to: TrueBrit

I would (and this is from multiple experiences) verbally shut them down, and do my damndest to make the person(s) look ridiculous and feel embarassed in the process. I do this anytime I come across a similar situation - UNLESS - (being honest here) I don't think I could beat the crap out of the person(s.) If I think I would lose a physical altercation, I keep my mouth shut.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 04:16 PM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Lol, "Satans rear passage" you sure have a turn of phrase!

Perhaps you could have reassured the girl who was targeted by ms potty mouth. A smile at her and then glance toward the offender and roll of your eyes says much. Just gentle non-verbal assurance.

I am sure that if you addressed the offender it would have been as effective as shouting at a garbage bin for smelling.

I think that you did the right thing.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 05:44 PM
I would have got her name and number...and taken a million dollar (pounds, in your case) life insurance policy out on her.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 07:45 PM
a reply to: TrueBrit

What you could have done was to offer the poor, offended creature some support. 'Moved to sit with her if possible, a touch on the shoulder at some point or even a compassionate look of some sort. Any of those could have rescued her from the solitary misery she was enduring and released you from guilt.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 09:19 PM
a reply to: TrueBrit

You know True Brit, the only thing I can think of that would have been uplifting in that scenario is to somehow complement or give a loud 'howdy do' with a smile and a wink to the targeted lassie. Sounds corny but everyone feels better knowing they have one on their side, even if it is only temporary.

Wasting energy on giving your great words above to the foul mouthed gal in the back is like trying to talk sense and logic to a drunk. The door is blocked and you can't get in. Most people who are loud and foul mouthed like her, are very insecure and looking for attention. It's too bad she was demanding negative attention, so loudly.

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