I’ve come across many people who find New Yorkers to be hard and New York City to be daunting. Rush hour on a New York City subway is no joke, either. They’re crowded and you can be jostled and jabbed with elbows and people will not move or step forward when a train pulls up, causing you to miss the train altogether. And sometimes, once on the train, you have to put up with loud conversations or body odour or someone falling asleep on your shoulder.
All of those things can happen and do happen but I’ve also witnessed some pretty amazing moments on a subway that leave me full of hope for humanity and glad to be a rat in the race.
It was rush hour. I was standing in the train, holding onto the rail when I saw a little boy, perhaps about 3 years old, looking intently at a woman sitting in front of him. She happened to be African American and the little one happened to be white. She smiled at him and he said, “Hi!”
“Well Hi!” she said.
“How are you?” said the little boy
“I’m fine! How are you?” said the lady.
At this point everyone within ear shot was smiling warmly and I exchanged a few knowing glances at my fellow passengers. The little boy spoke again,
“I love you.”
“I love you, too” said the woman.
There was an audible gasp among the people in the subway car and I don’t think anyone could wipe the smile of their faces the rest of the way home. I may have even teared up a bit.