IN A world where courtesy and good manners are on the wane, it is refreshing to come across someone who still believes in making others happy. One such man is a bus driver in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. He relates what he does:
“As a bus driver I meet all kinds of persons, from the calm and courteous to the rude and querulous. No wonder many of my work colleagues get edgy and talk back. However, I decided to put to work Christian manners.
“Why should I not help to cheer up the passengers? It does not cost anything to be obliging. So when someone asks to get off at a certain stop I call him, thank him for riding with me and wish him a good day. Smiles and thanks in return are a pleasant reward.
“Word got around about the ‘happy bus driver,’ and the bus administration has received various letters commending my attitude. For example, the president of the National Confederation of Land Transport Workers wrote: ‘Of all [the drivers] one aroused my attention and deserves special mention because of his manners, both in his driving and treatment of passengers and pedestrians, and also in his respect for traffic laws, and that makes an impression, taking into account the turbulent times in which we live and when abuses and lack of discipline stand out in all spheres of work. . . . I found out his name in order to recommend him to you as deserving the best attention and consideration, as a fine driver, in every sense of the word, both as a human and as a professional.’
“When I reached retirement age, I decided to take a vacation. However, the owner of the bus line asked me to come back and continue to work because the passengers were complaining about my absence.
“Recently the local newspaper interviewed me and wanted to know the reason for my outstanding behavior. Their final write-up read, ‘Member of the religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses.’ It was headed, ‘Behavior. At Every Bus Stop the Driver’s Greeting—He Never Loses His Decorum.’ What a surprise I had when I received the city’s diploma of distinction of the year along with physicians, engineers, dentists, and so forth! I am happy for the Christian training I received to make me appreciate the value of friendliness. I can only say that courtesy pays.”