What I saw on the metro inspired me

Often times friends will tweet about how Metro disappoints them.  Admittedly, delays, track work and lack of funding are… problematic… but I’ve always tried to look at the Metro through eyes of faith!  It’s a fascinating petri dish of human interactions where one can see so much human drama and divine inspiration at work.  Three things I saw on the Blue Line this weekend inspired me:

1) A young man, perhaps an intern boarded the train.  Shirt tails untucked, hair bedraggled, his backpack clung for dear life to the crushed shoulder of his blue blazer.  This young man was DONE for the day.  At the next stop, two women, one of them pregnant boarded.  They were laughing, carrying on about something in the way colleagues do after work… the exact opposite of our disheveled intern.  And yet… in the midst of the crowd, this young fellow got up and sacrificed his seat for the pregnant woman.  He stood clinging to the overhead bar (another type of petri dish characteristic of Metro) for another five stops!  Young sir, I salute you.  (PS: this was at the other end of the car from me or I would’ve offered my own seat, of course)

2) A gentleman boarded the same train… seemingly coming from his workout routine.  Now, had this been me, I probably would’ve passed out drooling then and there, but not this man.  He sat down and pulled a book from his back pack.  It wasn’t a soft cover novel.  It was clearly something heavy… study for work or graduate courses maybe.  The man dove into his work with gusto making margin notes as he read… and whenever he looked up his eyes were curious, clearly scanning the faces of his fellow commuters.  Catholic author Matthew Kelly says he can tell if a business will succeed if he sees employees constantly taking notes, developing ideas they get on the fly… I saw something of that in this gentleman’s discipline and constant engagement with his surroundings.  Most inspiring.

3) Last and best of all, a family of tourists boarded the train at the Smithsonian stop: a mother, father and their toddler.  The little girl begged for and received a piece of fruit.  Before gnashing on her snack, she pulled a quality control sticker from the skin of her apple.  Her father explained that the sticker mean the fruit was “approved” for eating… at which point the girl pushed the sticker on her dad’s forehead, hugged him and said, “I approve YOU.”  Cute as this was, my inspiration came from the father, who dutifully left the sticker on his brow while his daughter ate her apple.  He never flinched, continued conversing with his wife and smiling benevolently at his littler girl.  Love doesn’t care about appearances… Love parses out the meaning of real dignity from superficial honor.  Bravo sir!

Just three things I saw on metro.