Gospel principles can be found anywhere at any time. It might be difficult to find these principles in some situations but if we look harder, we will be able to see them, even in the most common setting. This setting could be a jeepney ride.
Jeepney is one of the most popular modes of public transportation in the Philippines. It’s very affordable because you share the ride with more than 20 people. However, it can be hard riding in a jeepney sometimes, especially when the driver fits 28 people in a 24-seat vehicle and the traffic is not moving at all, not to mention how hot and humid it is in the Philippines. But there are principles we can learn from a jeepney experience.
With the driver having to weave in and out of traffic jams, he doesn’t have the time to check if everyone riding the jeepney has already paid the fare or if they paid the right amount. But many people are honest and they pay without being asked.
When you are sitting nowhere near the driver, you can’t walk the isle of the vehicle to give him your fare. You have to kindly ask the person next to you to pass your fare down to the next person and then the next, until it reaches your driver. Many passengers pass it willingly.
A jeepney is a vehicle where you get to hear lots of “thank you’s,” even during a very short trip. When passing a fare down to the driver, you’ll probably hear quite a few expressions of gratitude, which is something you can carry into other areas of life as well.
Some jeepneys have very loud music playing so that when a passenger calls for a stop, the driver doesn’t hear it. Oftentimes passengers will then shout for a stop until the driver hears it. Other times, when a passenger is elderly, pregnant, or someone who needs help, someone will usually notify the driver to keep the vehicle at a full stop until they are seated. Some people even get off the vehicle to help with heavy baggage. These acts gladden the heart of those passengers who need some help during their trip.
When you ride a jeepney, you put your trust in the driver, that you will arrive at your destination safely. And when you do not know where you are going, it takes trust to stay in the jeepney when the driver says that he knows exactly where to drop you off. It also takes a lot of trust on the part of the driver to keep going, trusting that everyone paid him correctly.
With the traffic being terrible most of the time, patience is key for the driver to drop off his passengers safely at their destinations. Many pedestrians do not use pedestrian lanes so drivers must deal with them too.
The world is full of chaos but it is full of so much goodness as well. And this goodness can be found anywhere if we look for it.