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.