Every morning from Monday to Friday I see myself surrounded by tens and hundreds of new faces. By Friday some start becoming familiar through the power of luck and schedule: I have to leave home at an exact hour, otherwise I risk missing my train. And just like myself, there are tens of others pulled by the invisible strings of social obligations. And I see them waiting on the platform next to me, or running down the stairs, making sure their mornings are not spoiled by a 5 or 10 minute-delay. There’s a lady whose perfume I simply can’t stand. She’s in her 20′s and my gut just tells me she’s not what you’d call a nice person. A few days ago she just stepped on my right foot, literally leaving a mark. She did not intend it, of course, it was the silly train that arrived a couple of seconds earlier and made people run on the stairs like madmen followed by their own shadows. But she did not bother to say sorry either. She just stepped in front of me waving that black mane of hers and leaving behind a trail of scent that simply does not agree with me.
Then there’s a nice couple – I’d say Turkish, but I’m not sure. They have their good and bad days, sometimes they talk more, other times they are quiet, just sharing the same space and oxygen. But their sight just comforts me. And there’s one smart chap – in his early 20′s I’d say – donning a fashion style my dad would instantly call insane – a smart suit and sandals. And to understand my father’s philosophy here’s his irrefutable argument when it comes to all the youngsters who don’t have a classic haircut, that is a fringe, or hair combed on one side: “He says he reads so he’s educated, but he won’t full me! He must have missed several good pages with all that hair coming in his eyes!” How I wish I could put my commuter lad in my pocket and take him home to my dad.
But dandy or not, as long as he’ll stand up and offer his seat to a needy person, I raise my hat to him. And I’ll do this to any person, no matter the fashion style he or she prefers, the perfume used or the number of tattoos. It is these small gestures that I think betray a person’s true value. In my early 20′s, a stylish man used to make quite an impression on me. I somehow associated a nice suit to a gentlemanish personality - too many Bronte novels I guess. It took me several good years to understand that there’s such a discrepancy between the “work person” and the “after work person”. A couple of days ago I happened to have a chat with a fine intelligent gentleman with plenty of prospects for future corporate development. But the only thoughts crossing my mind were that despite the genteel appearance he’s almost a ruthless individual. So cockish and so in love with his own voice.
That this individual is a successful prototype is a certainty – that he is valuable as a human being, that he nurtures kindness towards his fellow oxygen breathers – that I do not know. I was actually wondering while having this chat with him – or from my perspective just looking at his lips and their movements – why is it that in general people who care less about others and more of themselves afford more financial luxury, while the decent people live the so called ordinary lives? I’m not talking about who’s happier – it’s strictly a financial perspective. Please don’t get me the “it’s a jungle out there” cliche. I was out in the park a couple of days ago and there was a sick pigeon. While feeding on some crumbles, the stronger ones just pushed this unfortunate one aside. Yes, survival of the fittest, but this is it – we’re not animals, so why should the same rule apply? Why should a person’s value be judged in terms of ROI?