I got on to the bus. Seeing the crowd inside, I was upset. There was no place to sit. Just then, a person vacated his seat.The man standing next to the vacant seat could have sat there, but instead he offered the seat to me.
At the next stop, the same thing happened again. He gave his seat to another. This happened 4 times during the entire journey. The man looked like a normal worker, returning home after a long day at work…
At the last stop when all of us got off, I spoke to him.
“Why were you giving your seat to another person every time you got a vacant seat?”
His answer took me by surprise.
“I haven’t studied much in my life nor do I know many things. I don’t have much money either. So I don’t have anything much to give to anyone. That’s why I do this everyday. It is something I can do easily.
“After working all day I can stand for a little longer. I gave my seat to you and you said thank you. It gave me satisfaction that I did something for someone.
I do this daily & feel I am contributing in some way.
I go back home refreshed & happy every day that I gave something to someone.”
I was speechless!
Wanting to do something for someone on a daily basis is the ultimate gift.
This stranger taught me a lot –
How easy it is to be rich from within!
A eleven years old girl went to her mother to complain. “I can’t manage to have friends. They all stay away from me because I’m so jealous.”
Her mother was taking care of newly-born chickens, and the girl held up one of them, which immediately tried to escape. The more the girl squeezed it in her hands, the more the chicken struggled.
Her mother said: “try holding it gently.”
She obeyed her. She opened her hands and the chicken stopped struggling. She began to stroke it and the chicken cuddled up between her fingers.
“Human beings are like that too,” said her mother. “If you want to hold onto them by any means, they escape. But if you are kind to them, they will remain for ever by your side.”
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
“She was no use at maths homework, and some days you could starve rather than get a hot meal from her, but Shuggie looked at her now and understood this was where she excelled. Everyday with the make-up on and her hair done, she climbed out of her grave and held her head high. When she had disgraced herself with drink, she got up the next day, put on her best coat, and faced the world. When her belly was empty and her weans were hungry, she did her hair and let the world think otherwise.”
A heartbreaking story of addiction, sexuality, and love, Shuggie Bain is an epic portrayal of a working-class family that is rarely seen in fiction. It is a blistering debut by a brilliant novelist who has a powerful and important story to tell.
Douglas Stuart was born and raised in Glasgow. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in London, he moved to New York City, where he began a career in fashion design. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and on LitHub. Shuggie Bain is his first novel. https://www.douglasdstuart.com