Today I witnessed one of the few shows of human heartlessness I’ve ever had the misfortune of encountering first-hand.
I was on the tram, travelling from work to uni, and a girl around my own age (between 19 and 21) was sobbing at the end of the carriage. I don’t mean she was quietly weeping into the window - oh, no. Heaving, gasping sobs, bent over, all-out crying to herself.
Sitting next to her was an elderly woman, and behind her were two adult business-women and a mother with her young child. Across the aisle were three more elderly people and another adult. Standing in front of her were three more people about our age, a man and two women. I was standing at the other end of the carriage and boarded after all of these people.
It was obvious that she was in utter despair and yet no one did anything. All of the adults did some side-glancing. The middle-aged woman behind her even turned around for a better look and then returned to a conversation with her friend.
After five or so minutes, I finally walked over and quietly asked the mother if she had a tissue (mothers always have tissues). The young man standing noticed and moved out of my way as I approached the far end of the carriage. I tapped her on the leg and offered her the tissue, asking if she was alright. She looked at me after a few moments, took the tissue and nodded her head in assent, and entirely terrified me with how empty her gaze was.
Moving back to my place on the tram, I felt the eyes of the passengers on me, though they remained on their laps or out their windows. I just cannot understand why everyone was too damn afraid to offer a poor, hurting girl some sort of kind word. Or a damn tissue! What I did won’t have helped stop whatever was making her feel that was, not in the slightest, but it might show her that not everyone goes about their day not giving a shit about everyone else.
I’m rarely as disappointed in our race as I was today.