I just experienced something really touching on the train. This guy walked onto the train at the West 4th street stop, which is just a few stops before my job. I’m sitting there with my headphones in listening to music. Already starting my day off angry. The train was making me late to work, I’m stressed about my personal shit and the last thing I wanted to hear was anyone speaking.
As I’m sitting here tuning out the world the guys starts to speak. So this man starts talking and he starts off letting us know he’s not asking for money or trying to sell us anything. Most of the time when people come on the train asking for money I feel the need to give it anyway, but that wasn’t my issue. My issue this morning was just myself.
Hearing that this isn’t the normal “train speech” that I’m used to, curiosity got to me and I removed one of my headphones. Now I was really interested in what he was going to say. Just to give everyone a visual, this was a tall business looking man. He was dressed in a suit and looked pretty spiffy from head to toe. Now from my experience everyone in New York usually wants to get in and get out and just head to the place they want to be. Not many people like to be bothered or attract attention to themselves.
The man begins the story by telling the train passengers about a scenario from when he was younger. His teacher in college had challenged himself and his class mates to walk down the blocks of New York and just say hi to random people. He explained how he was very nervous to try this but he was willing to take on the challenge. There were many people who looked at him like he was crazy “Just like some of you are now” he explained. He said but even for the people who were “pretending” to not listen there might be one person who gets something from this today.
He then started expressing that when people come to visit New York they feel this positive energy and feel free to say “Hello” or “How are you” to complete strangers without a care. He stated how so many people that live here in NYC don’t want to be bothered because we think everyone is angry or unfriendly. Although there are those handful of people that do respond rudely or not respond at all, there may be people who actually need exactly that. Just the random “Hello!” This is very true because I’ve experience it myself. There’s been times where I’ve said hello to people on the elevator or just “Have a good day” on the elevator and I’ve felt they appreciated the gesture and respond kindly.
He started talking about how we never know what people are going through. Someone could have just been fired from their job, just went through a breakup, or just had a family member pass away. That one hello! How are you? Have a great day can change someone’s entire day. He was 100% in my eyes. While some people looked at this man in a suit like he was nuts, and wondering why he was wasting his time, I felt uplifted. He changed my day, that’s exactly what he did for me. It was inspiring the way he took the fear of talking in front of a whole bunch of random people who probably were tuning him out and put that to the side.
He made my day, he really did. He had no idea what I was going through or what I am going through. I literally got like gut feeling like “Am I about to cry?” because that’s how much it touched me. The words that he was saying which I WISH I could’ve recorded just meant a lot to me. When I got off the train I walked up to him and told him that he truly made my day and thanked him. He was so grateful to hear that someone was impacted and I was so happy to let him know how much his fearless speech affected my entire day.
On that note: Do something nice for someone. Smile at someone and tell them “Have a Great day!” one day. You might leave more of an impression on that person then you even realize. Someone could be thinking no one in this world notices them. Also that nobody cares. That “Hello” “Have a Blessed day” might even save someones life one day. Step out of your comfort zone, make someones day.