Saturday, December 20, 2008

Basin Street Blues

I'm going to rant for just a second here. Last night, in the midst of the snowstorm, I took the train into Boston for a concert (more on that later). I managed to snag a seat on the T (subway for those of you non-Bostoners) and settled in for the ride. At the next stop, a woman got on with her elderly mother. There were no seats for them so they stood and held on to one of the poles. I watched, embarrassed, as not one person close to them offered these women a seat. Where have our manners gone? Is it just Boston? Is it because everyone was cranky because of the weather? It was just so upsetting to me that in this day and age, and at this supposedly charitable time of year, no one found it in their hearts to stand and let this older woman sit down. After watching this for a little bit, I finally made eye contact with the woman (they were on a different level than me - yes, the T now has stairs in some of its cars) and asked if her mother would like my seat. After speaking, they decided to stand for the rest of their ride. Frankly, this elderly woman looked a lot more steady on her feet than a lot of other passengers on the T, so I felt she could probably hold her own. We all got out at the same stop, and were in fact going to the same concert, and they thanked me for offering my seat. The daughter said, "You'll notice none of the men offered to stand so my mother could sit." Now, I don't think chivalry and manners should be practiced by just men, but COME ON PEOPLE! Where's your sense of decency?! When you're old and gray and don't have a ton of energy, I bet you'll hope some kind person will stand so you can sit on the train. Here's the thing, I don't have a lot of money to be donating to this and that charity. When my friend send me letters about walks they're doing, I can't support (monetarily) every single one. Here's what I can do: offer an elderly woman my seat so she doesn't have to stand on the train. It's free. It doesn't take any extra time. And frankly, it might just make her day. Maybe she doesn't take the seat, but at least she knows there are people out there paying attention.

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