So the bus passes by this woman waiting at the bus stop. OK, maybe the driver didn’t see her, but still, it is a bus stop. I think the bus driver should have stopped. The woman takes off and runs after the bus. She catches is when the bus is at a stop light and knocks on the door. The bus continues. OK, maybe it is against policy to board riders anywhere other than the stop. The woman continues to run and miraculously makes it to the next bus stop and boards the bus with three other passengers.When she gets on, she asks the driver, “Why didn’t you stop for me?”The bus driver said, ‘We don’t have to stop. You have to flag us down.” The woman with a confused look took a seat in exhaustion. By now, the passengers who witnessed the incident commented with indignation, sarcasm and humor.  “I’ve been riding for years, I’ve never flagged the bus down.” “Well, how soon do we need to start flagging you down?” “Excuse me miss, but I’d like to get off at the next stop.”

Yes, it got ugly. Why couldn’t the bus driver admit she was wrong? I checked the rules and the instructions are: Board the Shuttle wherever you see a sign with the green Broadway Shuttle bus icon. This was sooooo obvious, the driver could have said, oops, my bad, Sorry didn’t see you was trying to stay on schedule. Just saying nothing would have preferable to the falsehood that followed. The next day, I heard the perfect conclusion to this. Richard Friedlander in a perspective on the radio said:

I used to think that speaking in public was the one thing that was feared more than death, but after twenty years of trying to get people to resolve their problems by talking with each other, I’ve come to the conclusion that admitting one has made a mistake now occupies the top spot. 

The amount of creativity and time wasted by working around this simple act is enough to solve both our energy and employment problems in one swoop. The trust and fellowship that is lost would fill a black hole in space. “Hey, I screwed up” often is enough to put an end to a dispute, and when it isn’t, it’s a good start toward a resolution. Sometimes, it leads to an apology; sometimes, to creating an atmosphere where people are not afraid to give and receive helpful ideas. This applies to relationships across the board: whether it’s a presidential candidate speaking to the electorate, co-workers, marital partners, strangers or friends. You open up, people open up to you. 

¹ https://ww2.kqed.org/perspectives/2017/05/24/i-screwed-up-2/