Last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing several acts of civility in Toronto, of people politely being helpful to strangers. This is the kind of city I love being in.
- Someone with a senior’s ticket in a subway station without an attendant. A stranger, seeing the ticket in the token-only station, asks if the senior knows there’s a station with an attendant a couple of blocks away, then walks with her up the stairs and points the way.
- Two people standing, clearly lost, outside a subway station – a stranger approaches and asks where they were trying to get to. The stranger then points the way, across the street and left.
- A young woman at Union Station on the GO Train ready to get off with a baby, a huge backpack, several bags attached together, a baby car seat, and a stroller – the Passenger Ambassador tells her to wait and he’ll help her off. She smiles, puts on her three foot high crammed backpack, strokes her baby tied with a shawl to her front, puts the collection of bags over her shoulder, and smiles as the man follows her off with the stroller and baby car seat. The station is being renovated and the elevator is at the other end of the platform. An older woman steps up and picks up the car seat. The young woman smiles and strokes her baby again, and insists on carrying the stroller. They walk together to the elevator, descend, and the young woman opens the stroller and they put the baby car seat in it. Both smile and say good-bye.
Civility, curtesy, people making other people’s way a little smoother and easier. How wonderful.