You don’t remember me. I was the guy sitting next to you on the A train who gritted his teeth and shook his head. I didn’t say anything to you. I figured, why bother? But maybe I should have. Someone should have told you that what you were doing wasn’t cool. In fact, it was down-right rude.
Maybe, you didn’t know. Maybe you didn’t realize that the subway is a public space.
Once you inhabit that public space, your responsibility is to be considerate of the others who are around you.
You see we’re all in it together.
Once a rider pays his/her fare, he/she has the exact same rights as everyone else. However, that does not mean that you can do whatever you want on the train.
Now, as a person who has used the NYC subways for years, I have learned that anything can and does happen. It really is a free for all.
So, maybe you have seen others do as they please and therefore think it’s okay.
Well, it’s not.
Let me explain specifically what you were doing.
You were listening to music – loudly. And without headphones.
So, in other words, you were listening to music but subjecting everyone around you to your music.
I don’t know the name of the song, though I know I didn’t like it. However, my liking it is not even the point. Remember, you are responsible to every other rider.
Anyway, the music you happened to be listening to was foul. F you, N this, B that. Yeah, like I said, foul.
Unfortunately, language like this in music is no longer shocking. However, I am not trying to be Tipper Gore here. Let me get off that soapbox. If your parents are okay with you listening to that kind of music, then it’s not really my business. Yet, I definitely have an opinion, and it ain’t positive.
Anyway, did you even consider that there might be little kids on the train? Did you look around to see who else shared the train with you that weekday afternoon?
Is it right to subject little kids to that music?
What about elderly people? Do you play that music for your grandparents? I’m guessing no. Did you look around to see if there were any elderly people on the train?
Then, there are people like me. I was the guy next to you who fell asleep after a day of work and another night of a child crawling into my bed. My ride home on the subway always includes a catnap. And I look forward to it each day.
Did you look around to see if other people were clearly enjoying the quietish, regular hum of a typical packed subway car?
Look kid, the point is this. You might think the world is yours and you can do whatever you want with it. Many teens act as if the world is their’s for the taking. However, you went too far. See, the world isn’t yours. Nearly 7 billion of us on the planet – no one exists in a vacuum.
Consideration and decency might not sound cool to you. Or something you have to worry about. But you do. Cause you are just like the rest of us. Besides, consideration and decency might just take you somewhere that you didn’t know you could go. The world might really be yours, then.
And I don’t mean the next stop on the train.
I appreciate you listening to this advice. No need for thanks.
The rider next to you on the A train.
Picture is courtesy of: Google