Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: Human to Human Etiquette
Written by T.D Moody
The other night I was on the subway on my way home from a long day at work. I was in no mood for shenanigans or to hear loud obnoxious idiots and freaks, who as the saying goes “come out at night”.
Nevertheless there I was sitting contemplating life so far and what it’s like surviving in the concrete jungle. Out of the blue almost as if by magic a homeless person came through the car stinking and standing right in front of me.
I had my ear buds in so I didn’t immediately look up to see or hear what he was saying but once I did look up and notice him( due to the stench on him) I felt bad that we have so many homeless and hungry people riding the subway everyday trying to get enough money to get something to eat.
I was reminded of a Tupac song in which he says “They got money for wars but can’t feed the poor”. It’s sad but so true. I reached in my bag and gave the man the change that I had on me. After a few moments I noticed two young guys at the other end of the train car making gestures and laughing loud enough that I could hear them even with music playing in my ears.
I took my buds out just long enough to catch some of what one of the two guys who was most outspoken was saying to the homeless man. He was making fun of this middle-aged homeless guy asking him for change, saying things like stop being greedy, since myself and a few other straphangers had given him some money.
When the train arrived at the next station yet another homeless person got on and I just felt a sense of defeat come over me. Sure my little change didn’t make a significant impact but combined with whatever else he collected from other people throughout the day I imagined he could scrape by hopefully enough to get something to eat. Even still I felt like you can’t help everybody.
What enraged me to my core though, was the fact that this ridiculing kid, not knowing this homeless person asking for money, or how he came to be begging in the subways, was metaphorically speaking kicking this guy while he was down like it was cool.
Making fun of his misfortune and doing it to get others on the car to laugh along with him. I found this attitude so repugnant. I in that moment said to myself I hope and pray that the same misfortune befalls that young idiot so that he would know & understand how wrong it was of him to do what he was doing. I mean such apathy. I just couldn’t get my mind around it.
I mean he went so far as to even tell the homeless man to first, sing for the money and if he did he’d give him $5. I could see the arrogant punk had no intention of pulling any money out of his pocket nor did he from what I saw.
The next thing I heard was him say to the homeless man “When the train stops at the next stop and the doors open up, run two cars ahead cause this other guy’s beating you. He’s beating you to your money”. He and his friend then erupted in laughter along with some other apathetic people who were observing and listening.
I imagine the very same attitude exhibited by the two guys towards the homeless man is how the elite of the world view us the people . With utter disregard as if we’re less than human, less than nothing, not worth a trifle, all our misfortunes, our fault and nothing to do with the elite, greed, their attitude, perspective, and behavior.
I consoled myself with a memory of stories I heard in my childhood where there was always a moral to them in which some seemingly insignificant gesture or behavior is highlighted and shown to have consequences for good or for bad depending on whether a choice was made to do good voluntarily or to do bad voluntarily. Still shaking my head over witnessing that scene.