Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Simple Act of Decency On The Subway

Recently, I posted on social media about something I saw on the subway:

On the subway, standing next to an elderly man and a young man in a suit. Train stops and a seat opens. Young man sits down. 30 seconds later, he sees the elderly man and gives up his seat to him. 

Faith in humanity restored.

This post whittled it down to something simple, but there's more to it, for me anyway.  Let me explain.

The elderly man in this story was an Orthodox Jewish man.  He had a beard.  He wore a yarmulke (head covering that some Jewish men wear), white short sleeve dress shirt, and black pants.  I could see many bruises on his arm, an indicator that he had recently spent time in the hospital or had blood taken by a technician who was challenged to find a vein.

The young man in the suit was African American.  He was very tall, and broad shouldered.  About a head taller than me.  His suit was well tailored.  He was wearing headphones, and likely unaware of his surroundings.  I know that when I'm on the subway, I drown out everything around me with music.  It's a sanity and survival tactic.

After he sat, he looked up at the elderly man, and was nearly apologetic for having taken the seat.  As he asked the man if he'd like to sit, he was already standing up.  He had no intention of keeping the seat.

Why does race/nationality matter to this story?  It doesn't.  This is a story about human decency.  A young man gave up his seat to an elderly man who needed it more than he did.

Lately, vitriol has flooded social media.  I've read all kinds of simplified black and white views of good vs. evil, race-baiting, and threats.  To prove the other side is wrong, people have posted videos of unspeakable actions performed by vermin.  Mobs have taken to the streets in European cities and acted like Nazi thugs.  None of this makes anything better.

I don't have any answers for solving the world's problems.  But hate is destructive and tiring.  Practicing decency makes you feel better about yourself.

Happy commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.

The best compliment I can receive is a new follower who was referred by a friend! 

Sign up for the blog mailing list by entering your email address in the "Follow By E-Mail box."  Or, if you're on Facebook, give TheTrainInVain page a "Like."  You can also follow me on Twitter.

Twitter: @davidrtrainguy
SHARE! Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This Share on Google Plus Share on Tumblr SHARE!


Post a Comment