Yesterday something interesting happened in the subway. An old and tired homeless man with a bad limp entered the car as we stopped at one of the stations.
As he hardly made his way across the floor from one end to the other asking for money or food, people – as they typically and most often do – nodded their head in pity, some looked down, some looked at each other, some looked away, but not one person took action. I felt bad for the poor guy so decided to do something about It. By the time i snapped back from my human behavior observation tower and reached down my bag to pull cash out, the man was already half way through the car, so I had to stand up and walk to him in order to hand him the money. He gave me a big smile and blessed me and my family. At that point I am feeling shy and exposed to people’s possible criticism “who does that?” Or “ooh you’re so much better than all of us here” “who does she think she think she is” type of comments.
The interesting part I am getting at is it seems that my taking action was positively contaminating to others. As soon as I went back to my seat, people – almost in unison – started to pull all sorts of things from their bag: coins and bills of course, bananas, apples…one guy even gave him his guacamole salad.
The message here is so simple yet strong: if you know like everyone in the car knew deep down that the smallest of actions- you conveniently or lazily think have no impact – can go a very long way and make someone feel better, why wouldn’t you take action? Today and every day, step up and make a difference because you simply can.