We could all use a little more smiles in our days. It can be tough when it's 5am and you're getting up for a long day of work where you might get yelled at by a boss, or have to worry about making sure you're off in time for your second job. In those moments, a smile can go a long way.
There are plenty of people who don't have a reason to smile, but it's funny how they are the people most in need of one. That's why the man we're going to be talking about in this article is so special. Not only is he not shy about giving out a smile, at one point he had every reason not to smile at all.
Pat Lawson is a bus driver in London, and not too long ago he was homeless and on a downward spiral, even ending up in the hospital at one point, however, his positive attitude has gained him attention. Not just that, it's also gotten him an award from the bus company. Read on to find out more of this inspiring tale.
Meet Pat Lawson
Traffic is something that nobody likes. It doesn't matter if you have a new podcast or album to listen to, traffic still sucks. That's why it's even more impressive that bus driver Pat Lawson always has a smile for his customers. After only 16 months working for the bus company, Pat Lawson has won an award for being such a positive force in the riders' lives. What makes Pat Lawson even more amazing is that he was formerly homeless.
Pat Lawson has gotten out of what he describes as a "dark and vicious cycle" involving drugs, prison, and homelessness. Now he's the bus company's best driver. Regarding his past, Lawson said, "I was hot-headed in school and got expelled. I went to prison for stealing cars and met hardened criminals, ended up there again and started a dark and vicious cycle."
Pat Lawson Worked Through His Dark Past
Pat Lawson has three children, however, that didn't stop him from entering the dark path he would continue to follow. It all escalated 16 years ago. He was attacked, leaving him in the hospital, questing his life. "I thought I was going to die and I started thinking of my children. I knew it was life or death. I kept thinking, how did I end up in this situation? And that's when I said, I need help. I wanted to climb out of the gutter."
Later, Lawson would find the chance to change his life for the better. He met volunteers from Single Homeless Project (SHP) who got him a job as a bus driver, a job he would grow to love. Regarding his smiley nature, Lawson said, "I'll say good morning to every single passenger and give them a big smile. I was told it wouldn't last long but passengers told me to keep on going."
Lawson Won the Hello London Award for Outstanding Customer Service
Pat Lawson first started the job in March of 2017, but since then he has already won two awards as well as 100 acknowledgements from the public. The smiles have continued on ever since. In July, the Transport for London gave him the Hello London Award for Outstanding Customer Service following 45 different commendations from passengers. He didn't stop there. After that at the UK Bus Awards he won the Top London Bus Driver prize.
If his story sounds like something you'd read about in a book, Pat Lawson has the same idea. He plans to write about his life and how he got out of the dark hole he was trapped in for so long. "The key is having the determination to change. I have been at rock bottom but it was the support from the charities ... that has really helped me."
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