Words from Valerie:Love in the Metro

By Valerie Amani
I had been taking the metro in Milan (I’m here for a month) for about four days and I had learned basic rules to abide by. Don’t touch anyone, body contact is not encouraged with strangers in general; don’t look anyone in the eye, it’s just creepy, and no one wants to make conversation when they are running late for work. With this in mind I never thought I would learn anything on the train and blocked out everything around me. That was until a few days later when I was on my way to class when a guy with a puppy came in. I love puppies so maybe that is why he first got my attention. Secondly I noticed that this dude looked like he had been sleeping under a bridge… like really, he was fairly dirty, unshaven and his shoes were torn and tattered. However he didn’t seem to care about how he looked, all his attention was focused on his puppy. He sat down opposite me.
On the next stop something else out of the ordinary Metro experience happened, a guy with an accordion came in and started playing. It was quite fantastic actually, how do people even learn how to play that thing!? Anyways when he was done he pulled up a crushed polystyrene cup and went up and down the tram collecting coins. Everyone with perfectly combed hair, polished shoes and carrying Louis Vuitton handbags with their perfectly manicured nails didn’t move an inch, instead they kind of just pretended the accordion player wasn’t there. To my surprise the last person I would expect to give any money reached into his dirty crinkled shorts and pulled out some coins while his puppy lay on his lap.
The person, who seemed to have the least, gave the most. This action actually may have been the only reason I decided to give something which made me question myself along with the people around me. It made me see love in a different light, not the love that you feel for your family, or your partner or your favorite pair of shoes. This kind of love comes from relating to someone, it’s a kind of invisible love. Compassion derived from connection of similar circumstances going back to the idea of “do unto others as you would like to be done unto you”.
Also I was ashamed I ever judged someone purely based on their appearance, because if I had to choose one person to befriend in that train, I wouldn’t chose everyone else who was consumed in the importance of their own nothingness, I would choose the guy with the puppy whose compassion inspired my own.
Credit: http://stonedlovechild.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/words-from-valerie-love-in-the-metro/#comment-1076
July 11, 2013