Several years ago, on the New York City subway, a young man rushed past several other people to get off the train. For a split second, I rolled my eyes. We were all waiting to exit the cart and if he had just waited instead of pushing—
Then I looked up and watched as he gently looped his arm in that of an older lady gingerly stepping down the stairs and guided her to the street level.
I think about the young man a lot—think about how my first reaction was to be annoyed at what I perceived as impatience and a lack of manners. I think about how this 30 second lesson schooled me in the arrogance of assumption.
Since that day, I’ve tried to sew in myself a more holistic understanding of society and, individually, the people I interact with, even if only for mere minutes on public transportation.
What if we chose to believe that everyone had the very best of intentions?
How would that change our worlds?