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Monday, March 13, 2017

Everyone Rides the Subway

MTA subway train station, NYC subway system is one of the oldest in the USA. Photo by George Hodan

Daughter #2 grew up in suburbia. One of her teachers in the local high school labeled  the institution as "white, country club, marshmallow high." Daughter #2 didn't realize how homogenous her hometown was until she moved to New York City. 

There she suddenly found that all her own insecurities didn't matter because the inhabitants are so wildly different from each other. People from all over the world live and work in the city. Everyone wears different styles of clothing and one cares or made disparaging remarks.

Living there over the years, Daughter #2 noticed how character and uniqueness is valued. There seemed to be more of a team spirit. 

During a visit home, she expounded on the reasons she believes the majority of the people in New York City are liberal Democrats who tend to be progressive. She believes it's because everyone rides the subway. Everyone. All races, all socio-economic groups, all religions, and all ages travel underneath the city in the subway. There are bums, school children, and weathly women. It becomes very clear in that situation that the Lord fashioned people with an amazing amount of variety--and that all of them need to get along with each other.

She claims that when you're stuck in a train car under the East River, it suddenly becomes quite evident about who is going to ruin your day. It could be an angry preacher who yells at everyone. There might be unfortunate people who are poor and sick and have no where else to go--and stink up the whole train.

If a musician hops aboard, there could be entertainment to enjoy. 

Yet, the travelers do watch out for one another. On one of her rides, she saw two young girls, about eight years of age, pushing an infant in a baby stroller. They did not have an adult with them. The infant was several months old. At once, all the other folks in that train car became vigilant. It was clear the young girls knew how to handle the stroller. They put the brakes on once they were inside the car and acted in a responsible manner. Still, the other passengers watched them anxiously. When they came to the next station, the girls released the brake and headed for the door. One of the men put his foot against the door to be sure it wouldn't close on them. It was a poignant scene. No one had talked to the young girls. No one had disturbed them. Yet, all eyes were focused on them. Everyone cared. Proving the majority of folks are good. 

Maybe what the rest of this country needs is a ride on a New York City subway car with it's every changing, endless array of the people God fashioned out of clay. We can learn to get along with each other. We are all the same inside.    

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