Returning to Iowa City from Chicago on the bus, I noticed a man sitting across the aisle from us — seated alone.
A small man, maybe 5-foot-6 at best, thin, 140 pounds at most, he looked to be in his mid-60s. He wore a white straw cowboy hat, a white denim jacket and blue jeans. His cowboy boots were shined, as were their silver tips. He carried a rolled-up blanket, tied with a leather thong on either end with a slack in the line so that it could be carried over his shoulder.
Seeing it recalled for me the saddle rolls of cowboys in old western movies. This was the extent of his luggage. From his looks and dress, I surmised he was from the Mexican cattle country of the State of Sonora.
The bus people in the first two stories may lack the wealth of those on the plane but the social justice capital of the bus people surpassed by far that of those on the plane.
Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners Magazine: Faith in Action for Social Justice, wrote in a recent article (I paraphrase) that nothing distracts more from social justice than economic success.
Next time, I will take the bus and recall fondly the spirit of giving experienced on past rides.