Riding the subway isn’t really that scary… I swear

The past week or so has not been a good one for subway riders, it seems. Every story is about someone getting slashed or stuck with a needle or knocked onto subway tracks.

It makes riding the subways seem insane. But I swear, it’s not always like that.

Today my commute was a crowded one. We were all packed into a car, the rain drizzling outside, windows fogging over.

A woman was pressed against my back in a way that had to be awkward for her. A man trapped in the center tried to keep himself steady by pressing his hand against the roof. A petite woman seemed to try and make herself even smaller as she was pinched between two larger people with heavy coats.

But despite the discomfort or struggle, little moments of the kindness I often find in humanity still shined through.

Like the guy who gave me a joyful smile and a nod for not particular reason, except that he just felt today was a good day.

Like the man who clearly had physical challenges of his own, who stood to allow a woman to sit. She was not elderly or needing, but he did it anyway, and she smiled graciously for his good deed.

Like the two young girls who held stretched between people to hold hands and smile. One friend had a hand on the high poll that stretches over the seats. The other had nothing to hold and keep from leaning or falling on another person.

Then, as we got to a stop and the train shift, people moved so they could be together.

I don’t know. Bad things happen on the subway. I get it. I was a victim of it myself once. But these are the things that I see every day, and they’re the things that mean the most.

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