Slice of Life Challenge day 6 #sol18

A Small Glimpse of Humanity

My colleague and I stepped into the subway.  All around us, the chatter of the day’s events at Teacher’s College consumed the space.  Yes, an amazing day.  Entering the train, I immediately looked to my left, spotting two empty orange seats between passengers.  Wow! I thought.  At such a busy time, what are the chances?  Hurriedly, my colleague and I lowered ourselves into the two seats.  Feeling tentatively good– and definitely lucky– I settled in for the short ride to 96th Street where I knew we would transfer.  My colleague joined me in the other seat.  But as a former New Yorker, I continued to study the passengers entering the train car.  I watched as more able bodies crowded onto the train, and, clutching a silver pole, located a square foot of real estate in the bustling car.  I studied each of them.

And then it happened.

An elderly woman entered the fray.  Dressed in a white fleece jacket and leaning on a walker, I watched her eyes scan the crowded car.  No seats.  Suddenly I stood, and reached out my hand to direct her to my seat.

But someone had already beat me to the gesture.  A young man in a black waist-length coat had abruptly risen and politely began ushering her to his former seat.  Carefully and slowly, the woman made her way to the gifted bench spot and sat.  I thought I saw their eyes meet as she nodded brisk appreciation to the stranger, thanking him for this favor.

As I lowered back down, I silently thanked the man, too.  Not because I was able to keep my seat, but for the humanity he exhibited in that moment.  It’s nice to see that once in a while.


Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

12 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge day 6 #sol18”

  1. Yes! More of this in the world. I loved your closing lines: “I silently thanked the man, too. Not because I was able to keep my seat, but for the humanity he exhibited in that moment.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was glancing through the SOL call when your post caught my eye. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was you who had commented on my post yesterday! Your writing speaks to me in a way that just connects.

    I loved this particular piece. It is something I would have done myself. Kudos to you for doing it. I’m so glad the young man got up. I find so many just stay sitting.

    Liked by 1 person

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