We’ve all been in this situation at some point in our lives–trapped in a public place with a baby screaming its lungs out. While many people would react by repeating “Shut up!” over and over again inside their minds, one pro bus driver in Yokohama who experienced this exact situation on the bus he was driving took the high route by instead reassuring the mother that everything was okay.
On August 31, 46-year-old Yokohama City bus driver Kenji Suzuki, who has 20 years of experience in his profession, was just doing his job when an infant began to cry onboard the bus. The mother and her friend tried placating the baby to no avail, who only screamed louder and started flailing its legs. The friend then got off along the way, leaving the mother to work through the situation alone.
After the crying had been going on for a good ten minutes with no change, Suzuki, seeing that the frazzled mother looked to be at her wits’ end, announced in a friendly tone over the loudspeaker:
“It’s okay. Babies are babies, so don’t worry about. He’s probably just sleepy, hungry, in need of a diaper change, or hot.”
Suzuki’s generous comments were shared online by one of the 15 or so passengers who were on the bus at the time. The story has picked up so much attention that Suzuki was even interviewed by the Asashi Shimbum, one of Japan’s most prestigious newspapers, where he was quoted as saying:
“I could see that the mother was doing all she could to try to calm her baby so that it wouldn’t be bothering anyone. I was worried that she wouldn’t want to use buses or trains anymore after experiencing that situation.”
Japanese net users were quick to applaud Suzuki’s sympathy and professionalism in light of the disturbance:
“If only society as a whole would be more like this.”
“Let’s be a society tolerant to child-rearing.”
“It takes courage for the bus driver to say that as well.”
“Bus driver-san, I’m touched! If I were the mother, I probably would have gotten off early.”
“Even if the bus driver felt that way, there were probably passengers who were thinking, ‘Well, I’m not okay with it!’”
“Baby (probably): ‘Your driving made me carsick!’ Haha”
While other bus drivers may have snapped at the mother, Suzuki instead noted the her desperate efforts to quiet her child and decided to make her feel less guilty. Bravo, Suzuki-san!