Monday, March 02, 2009

Strangers On A Train

A couple of days ago I took a commuter train between New York City and New Haven, Connecticut. The route runs past the "Gold Coast" towns: Greenwich, Fairfield, etc. After one of the stops, a man started going from person to person asking if someone would loan him the fare, which was about $14. He was in his fifties, casually but well-dressed, polite, and generally upscale in appearance and demeanor. When the man was unable to come up with the fare, the conductor insisted on a visit to the office at the end of the ride.

I've probably taken that train a thousand times during the past few decades, but have never seen that sort of thing before.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've probably taken that train a thousand times during the past few decades, but have never seen that sort of thing before.

The guy who was begging for fare had likely taken this route a 1000 times before as well...

3/02/2009 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There but for the grace of God goes I."

The definition of an angel is: "someone that helps when you need them most".

"Pay it forward"?

I've probably been in a madmade church 2 times in my life, but my parents and community taught by sayings and everyday examples. I'd probably survive on Wall Street 5 seconds. Icks!

When I use to go to conferences, the organizers would always have instruction on how to deal with "homeless". Washington DC was probably the worse. They said don't give money. If you must give, give a loaf of bread. And, don't look them in the eyes. That was a hard one, but sometimes I think that should be applied to Wall Street. It is unfortunate our trust has gotten beaten up so much that we don't know whether to help our fellow human being.

I really dislike those Dateline shows where they set people up to see how they would respond. Your experience sounds like one, but unfortunately, this one was probably real reality.

Could we do something like this in the US:
Big Improvement Day
"On this day, representatives from the public and private sector join forces to show inspiring examples of things that go well in the Netherlands. Specific focus goes out to examples on sustainability, entrepreneurship, education and leadership. With this initiative we want to spread a new spirit through the country and stimulate a sense of positivism and creativity."

What do we get? Rush Limbaugh and his insane ranting. Ho hum :-(

I was wondering if something like the Kiva org would work in the US. If we forget for one moment getting over the legal issues, do you think we'd have the same success/payback ratio? Or would people pocket it and walk away?

3/02/2009 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another few days like Monday, and he may have a lot of company.

3/02/2009 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was probably a stunt.

3/03/2009 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe he just left his wallet somewhere.

3/03/2009 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you should tag this under "Signs of the Times"...

3/04/2009 2:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am astonished that no one helped him.

3/08/2009 7:57 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

why was he not removed from the train or to let it slide.

i have on several times brought the wrong ticket when I commuted to school and was unemployed and didn't have a lot of money. If I had to commute that day, I would not eat more than one small meal.

Still, I looked rich. White, clean clothes, going to a nice town, young girl (22)

I was lucky enough to have fellow passengers spare me a ride or the conductors, knowing I was a frequent passenger, would ignore it, and I'd pay double the next time.

But I have seen many people kicked off for not having fare. Those that did not look as rich as me.

Why the double standard?

3/28/2009 9:50 PM  

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