Yesterday as I rode the subway to pick up the kids from school a women got on who wasn't as well dressed as the rest of the middle class riding the rails. She looked a little frantic at the obviously new experience and since all of the seats were full, hung on to the overhead rail for dear life. Since she was barely tall enough to reach the rail, I decided to get up and give her my seat. I hesitated for just a second as I adjusted my bags and another seat became available.
The 'lower class' lady sat down, but the ladies on either side of her weren't pleased. In fact, one of them got up and moved seats at the next stop clearly to avoid sitting next to her. The lady on the other side slid as far away as possible.
I cringed. Partly for the sake of the lady who was rejected (although she's probably used to being treated that way by people above her 'class') and partly because she looked a lot like the ladies that we have around us every day.
Things like this are a good reminder that every person is precious and worthwhile. I think it's easier for me to see that here because I haven't grown up with the same class system, everything is unfamiliar, and people just look like people to me.
I hope in my own country that I wouldn't be the one to move away.....