Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hope Now.

Hope Now. We can find it in the most unlikely of circumstances.

(1) The MTA and the IPod;
(2) Why it's essential; and
(3) Seven Ways to Encourage Hope

The MTA & The IPOD

I had an unusual experience the other day that I’d like to share. It seems that we can find hope now or anytime even under the most unusal of circumstances.

It was a weekday morning like any other only I was a bit grumpy. I was riding (standing) on the subway on my way to work and listening to my IPod which was in my right jacket pocket. The train stopped at 14th street and a lot of people got out. I felt someone bump into me, which is not unusual when people are getting off the train and then a tug on my earphones. It seems a lady had bumped into me and when she did had somehow pulled the cord to the IPod and the IPod itself out of my pocket. Before I knew what was happening the IPod had pulled free of the cord, fallen and disappeared down between the subway car and the platform. The lady briefly looked back at me, drowsily mumbled ‘Sorry’ and didn’t hesitate for a moment to continuing droning her way to work. I didn’t know exactly how to feel. I was mostly in shock and as there was absolutely nothing I could do to even fish for the IPod, I continued on until we stopped at 33rd street - the final destination of the PATH train I take to work.

Now, I knew my IPod was gone and there was little to no hope now or ever of finding it again. I mean it was at the bottom of a track somewhere. It was a lost cause. But even though I knew it was most likely a lost cause I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask one of the conductors if there was anything I could do. I spoke to the nicest woman, unfortunately, I didn’t get her name, she was more than helpful. She asked me questions as to which car I was in, she told me exactly what phone to pick up and exactly what to say when I picked up the phone. I went to the PATH phone as instructed and spoke to the supervisor, Donna was her name, and told her I had been on the inbound train to Manhattan in the seventh car and my IPod had fallen between the car and the tracks at 14th street. And if it helped any my IPod cover was burgundy. I expected to speak to someone like the woman who bumped me on the train, someone bored or irritated and sleeplessly going through their day. But Donna wasn’t like that, she was genuinely interested in helping me. I felt as though I was important to this woman and she’d be pleased to take care of me. I told her I figured it was possible it wouldn’t be found and that it might be broken but if they would be able to look for me I’d be grateful. In truth, I was astonished that they would take the time to look for my IPod. Not to be mean, but the MTA is the last place you expect people to go out of their way for you. But Donna was different and she told me she’d talked to some people and when to call her back to see if it was found. So I called her back after lunch and spoke with her and yes, they had found it and as far as they could tell it still worked.

I was amazed! All I had to do was to go one stop past my normal stop, go to this command center, give them my name and they had it there for me to pick up. At the end of the day, that’s exactly what I did. I went there and couldn’t find the command center, asked another employee who was also very kind and walked me to the command center and give me back my IPod. They never even asked for my ID. The employee, John, who shook my hand said he was pleased to reunite me with my music. I was thrilled. It truly gave me hope in the world.

I live in the NY Metro area. People think New Yorkers are brusque and unfriendly but I disagree. In the place like the PATH train where workers encounter thousands of people every day on their way to work. People who are preoccupied, busy and not even looking up. It would be easy to dislike humanity. It would be easy to become cold, unfriendly and unhelpful. So, here it was in the worst place that I found the best of people. Yes, when I spoke to the conductors and employees I spoke politely and with respect. I didn’t really have any hope of being able to be helped. But here the universe taught me a great lesson. Sometimes, hope, kindness and caring come in the most unlikely places, times and people. Sometimes you really only need to ask and you will receive. It gives me a fresh perspective and renews my hope in everything somehow.