March 15, 2011: It’s Working

Today on the Green Line, a young man ignored both a very pregnant woman and a mildly aging woman (me) and remained in his seat—furiously texting. After a couple of stops, the pregnant woman found a seat but immediately offered it to me! I declined. At the next stop, I got a seat next to Texting Lout. His proximity stirred up some very angry feelings and, oh no, I found myself dangerously close to giving TL a piece of my (judgmental, entitled) mind.

But my renewed resolve to not contribute to the hatred of the world quashed those feelings; instead,  I closed my eyes and prayed for him.

And instantly was reminded of what a dear friend once said of the deeply troubled, abusive men she counsels. “They’re repeating what had been done to them,” she’d noted. So instead of condemning TL, I began wondering what his young life had been about. (Did I mention that he was African American? Is that important?)

Know what? Eyes closed, seated on that rattling, squealing crowded car, I experienced such calm, such peace, such compassion for him.

It’s working.

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