Today on the Metro Red Line I noticed a woman board with two small children and a stroller.
It was rush hour and all the seats were already full so the family was forced to stand in the open area by the train doors.
Before the train leaped into motion with the normal jerky acceleration that knocks full grown adults off balance, the woman told her children to hold on to the grab bar. One child listened, but the other didn’t. It didn’t make much difference though because when the train started both children ended up on the floor crying.
The mother was obviously annoyed and said something to the effect of I told you to hang on. Not a very compassionate response to the pain of her children. In fact, she proceeded to ignore the cries of her small children, and that’s when something strange happened. That’s when a group of strangers leaped into action.
Immediately a row of seats cleared and complete strangers invited the children to sit down. After the children had been sitting for a while it was obvious that the youngest child was still shaken up so a random woman asked the mother’s permission and proceeded to pick up and comfort the small child. It was an amazing show of compassion and a shocking sight on my evening commute.