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January 29th, 2016 by Stephen Bauman

A friend walked onto the subway train and sat down in the last available seat. Several stops later a large, late-term pregnant woman lumbered on board and my friend rose to offer his seat, which she gladly accepted. Except, she was a tad broader in the beam than the seat that evidently had been designed for a skinny teenager.

This triggered a domino effect of sliding, squeezing, and scrunching down the row of seats until the ripple hit a large man in a business suit who had no intention of moving anywhere for anyone. This annoyed the heck out of the man who slid into him. Words were exchanged. They both stood up. Fists at the ready, the train lurched as the brakeman made a hard stop. The businessman lost his footing, banged his head on the center pole, and landed on his knees as his opponent reseated himself in the only remaining seat.

Without missing a beat, my friend then politely thanked the man for standing so the pregnant woman could sit. A study in civility, New York City style…



The Reverend Dr. Stephen Bauman

Stephen Bauman

Rev. Dr. Stephen P. Bauman is the Senior Minister at Christ Church.