The world needs more genuinely nice people. Yesterday, as I was riding the subway home I witnessed an act that is quite uncommon in The City. I know that many people think New Yorkers are all callous, inconsiderate people who are only concerned with getting from point a to point b, but that is not always the case. I have to admit, I too have had reservations about how tactless New Yorkers could be, but after seeing what I saw on the train, it reminded me that we are all just humans, briefly meeting as we head to our destinations. The uncommon sight that I witnessed last night was of a man helping a complete stranger keep his balance as he stood on the train with his hands full. The train wasn’t crowded, so it wasn’t out of sheer closeness that this gentleman held this individual up, this guy actually stuck his arm out to hold the other up as the train sped, and rocked back and forth. I know a sight like this isn’t especially noteworthy, but considering the standard train interactions that I have witnessed over my many years riding the subway, this was a very welcomed change of pace. It is not hard to be helpful, but many people make it seem like a chore. When I think about this planet and about all of its inhabitants, I realize that we are best served by working together, rather than squabbling or keeping to ourselves. It all comes down to understanding the significance of a single life. I am glad that I witness this act of kindness, and I hope to see many more like it in New York. When we, as a species, can start to look at everybody as a single significant person, and not as another annoyance, I’m sure this city, this country, and even this planet will be a much more enjoyable place to live for all.
It doesn’t take much to be kind to another person, but often times it seems as though kindness has become a chore. It might just be due to the busyness of city life, but I rarely see people being legitimately kind to one another. Kindness is not just a way of treating another individual, kindness is also an overall disposition of pleasantry marked by a jovial attitude towards others. Many people consider acts of kindness to be grand gestures that are outside of normal interaction, but I would say an act of kindness could be something as small as saying hello with an authentic happy mood. Living in the city, I have noticed that the general attitude is stoic in nature, it is not until I visited smaller towns or other countries that I run into genuinely kind individuals. There was once a time when I believed that it was impossible to be kind in certain places, but I have since learned that kindness is effective in any situation, and the addition of kindness to even the most stressful circumstances works to alleviate the pressure of the situation. Kindness is necessary for any society to thrive, but it is a trait that must be learned. In order for humanity to thrive, we must foster true kindness in the next generation. Kindness is an infectious positive attitude that is independent of culture, gender, or ethnicity, hopefully all people can learn the benefits of kindness and choose to live peaceably with one another.