The subways in New York City can be hectic and unforgiving. I’ve witnessed days when untold masses of humanity have shoved their way into cars seemingly packed beyond capacity. 

A couple of years ago, I saw an incident that reminded me of how much can be learned observing the interactions of strangers — especially during somewhat stressful situations.

The subway doors were shutting and right at that moment, a harried older commuter started to push his way into the closing doors. When the man got in, he began berating a young man who was probably about 18 or 19, attempting to blame his sweat, lateness and struggles on the young man. “Why didn’t you hold the door?” he shouted loud enough for all to hear. “You must have seen me coming!” 

The young man, who was a solid 6 ft tall and likely close to 190 didn’t say a word. One swing from him would have knocked out the belligerent, obnoxiously ranting man. I studied the younger man’s  face which showed complete control. Not distain, not anger, not defensiveness, not shock or any of the emotions that would have all been quite understandable. Instead, the young man maintained his composure and silence.  

I’ve thought of this instance often. If I had exited the subway first, I’d have made sure I walked past him and shook his hand. 

While I have no idea who he was, he left a memorable impression. I have no doubt he’s doing very well in life as he demonstrated the fine character of a stellar leader under pressure.

I’m @DianGriesel aka a perception analyst & strategist; creative attitude disrupter & adjuster; author of The Silver Disobedience Playbook & TurboCharged: The Silver Disobedience Edition; and the blogger & model known as @SilverDisobedience  More info on my websites (search my name) and at Wilhelmina Models. Silver Disobedience® is a Registered Trademark.✨

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