Common sense tells you that after a long day at work or school, everyone who’s taking the train home would like to be able to sit down and relax. Basic math, however, will tell you that not everyone can. At rush hour, there are more people commuting that seats available, which means most people have to tough it out and stand.
But apparently that was too complex a phenomenon for one man in Japan to understand. Japanese Twitter user @yokohamamegane was recently taking the train home from work, and he’d been lucky enough to secure a seat. However, he spotted another commuter, who was stuck standing, sarcastically venting his frustration with a hurtful comment to a child in a wheelchair.
“You people are lucky that you get to sit down even when the train is crowded,” the inconsiderate man said to the child. Seeing the wheelchair-bound youth’s expression turn to one of heartbreaking sadness, @yokohamamegane decided to do something, but violence and conflict escalation aren’t the way things are done in Japanese society, so instead of giving the man a fist in the mouth, he decided to give him something else instead.
“Hey, middle-aged dude,” @yokohamamegane called out as he stood up, “You can have my seat, so just sit yourself down already.”
Online commenters were quick to praise @yokohamamegane initiative and gallantry in coming to the child’s defense and effectively removing his antagonist, reacting with:
“How could he say something so thoughtless? It was wonderful that you stood up to him.”
“I’m sure the kid himself would rather be able to stand.”
“Pretty bold of the guy to say that when he might need a wheelchair himself when he gets older.”
“Thank you for reminding me that the world isn’t all bad people, and that there are kind human beings too.”
“If you hadn’t been there, the kid would have had nothing but bad memories of the day.”
Meanwhile, the kid he’d defended expressed his gratitude to @yokohamamegane in his own way, giving him the lollypop shown in the above tweet as a thank-you present. Even after he’d returned home, @yokohamamegane was still replaying the incident in his mind, prompting him to tweet about it once more.
“So many people’s sense of compassion is broken. Not just on social media, but in their face-to-face interactions with other people too.
Let’s be kinder to others. Let’s think about their feelings more. Let’s try harder to picture what they’re going through.
You can understand people if you put a little thought into it. It’s really that simple.”
Wise words, and hopefully something people will take to heart not just on the train, but whenever they’re dealing with another human being.