Subways are a great place to experience stuff.
On a hot, humid summer day you may meet prespiring strangers who unknowingly rub their moist backs against your arm. Whereas on weekend nights, especially the first weekend of the month, when everybody just received their paychecks, trains are THE place to extend your circles. Drunk strangers are willing specimen to practice small talk, hugs, or improve your skills on how to serve as a human sleeping pillow. (apply as needed)
But most of all, I think subways are a good place to get enlightened and practice mindfulness.
Staying calm can be challenging at times. After all, taking the subway is much more a necessity than a choice for most of us. Cultures, generations and different mindsets collide in a tiny little space. This can lead to loaded feelings and a general “I hate everybody” attitude. But they are a great place for people watching.
And if we look closely we can see random acts of kindness everywhere on our subway rides.
Kindness unfolds in all different ways. The young girl offering a seat to an older man with a walking stick. The guy who blocks the door for the lady who runs to catch the train. The teenager giving his last coins to a homeless man. The musicians performing with a smile. Yes, even the drunk person giving me a hug or using me as a human pillow.
You never know what the person next to you is going through right now. Next time you think “what the ** is this ** thinking?” just take a deep breath and remember:
A smile or an understanding nod is maybe all they need.
After all, we are all sitting in the same boat, ehm train.