I find myself, and others, often doing random acts of kindness. I had meant to highlight some of these on my blog as well, but have only done one post thus far. A story from my brother inspired me to make another post in that direction. His story from that day, and my less amusing tale of how one can witness an act of kindness while waiting to see if they can perform one themselves.
My brother posted on Facebook his account of an incident that occurred while he was riding on the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto’s public transit system). A belligerent man woke him from his morning slumber on his commute when he bellowed out the word “ANONYMITY!”. After bellowing this out, the man then maintained a constant monologue of unhinged, repetitious ramblings directed at another male passenger. At some point the man then switched to yelling out a slew of racist remarks towards the passenger who got off without coming to his defence.
However, my brother did come to his, and the rest of the riders defence. Unfortunately it was after the passenger who was the focal point had exited the vehicle. My brother got up and sat across from the man who had still been ranting loudly. In his usually calm manner, my brother told him “hey, I don’t mind when you’re ranting about your own-”
This man apparently didn’t like having random passengers talk to him or address him directly. He turned his head away from my brother to stare out the window, possibly hoping my brother would stop trying to engage with him, possibly daydreaming about the irony of his discomfort.
My brother continued on, ignoring the man’s attempts to ignore him. “-stuff, have at it. But when you turn your oppressive shit to-“. At this point the man stuck his head completely out the window (to be fair, the warning sign only says to keep your arms inside) of the streetcar and held it outside for an entire stop. Once the streetcar reached the next stop he got up and hurried off the vehicle as fast as he could.
I got a drive to Woodbine station in the morning. Upon entering the station, I saw there were two people lined up at the collector’s booth; one person buying tokens and an older man waiting in line, leaning on a crutch. The man with a crutch told me to go ahead of him and explained he was just going to try and get a free ride.
The man didn’t look overly downtrodden, apart from the crutch, and he was well spoken as well. Still, I decided to take my time on the other side of the turnstile; grabbing a transfer from the machine, pretending to look at a map. I wanted to see if the man would be able to negotiate his way past the collector and, if not, I was going to offer him my other token that I had to get home at the end of the day (I had to buy more that day anyway).
The collector must have been in a charitable mood too, as they let the man through without charge. I told him why I had waited and asked if he needed help down the steep stairs. He thanked me and said he’d be fine. Said he was only going one stop, but because of his crutch, that was why he decided to see if he could benefit from a stranger’s kindness. Thankfully he had two people up for ensuring he got to his destination that day.