I write this post on just another commute into work. The journey in is almost always uneventful, albeit for the occasional train delays and cancellations. However, today was different and my faith in humanity, and what we can accomplish, has been restored – and all from one simple interaction with a stranger.
I pretty much always get a seat on my train due to where I get the train from – one of the only benefits to my journey. Today the train was particularly busy and some people needed to start standing. One of these people was a lady who I noticed had two heavy bags with her.
Out of an automatic response to this I offered her my seat. She replied, “Only if you’re sure?”. I stood up for her and she accepted with thanks. Now, I’m not telling you this to show how much of a gracious person I am. No. I tell you this because of what came next and how it made me feel.
So I stood up for her and she sat, put her bags down, and the train continued on its journey. A few more stops down the track some seats were freed up – I took the opportunity to sit down, where I then proceeded to zone out to Hante’s latest album – it’s great and you should take a listen. Anyway, I digress.
When the train later pulled up at a further stop many people got off. As the train emptied I felt a hand on my shoulder – the same lady was stood over me smiling and said to me, “Have a lovely day”.
I smiled, replied in kind, and she went off on her way.
This small interaction between two perfect strangers highlighted to me the difference that can be made at the smallest level of society – embracing these tiny interactions in a positive way and always being willing to help, or offer help, to those around us. By acting in this way, creating change at the smallest level, we may help to affect positive change at higher levels.