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Humans of Los Angeles

“Man woman, you might as well dance. Get down, Zulu.” Q-Tip, ManWomanBoogie

This image showed up several times on twitter a few days ago.


I disagree.

I don’t know what I think the percentages might be but I do know that on most days, I see more acts of kindness than I do cruelty.

I’m splitting time between two offices until the new year, one of which is downtown. This has allowed me the opportunity to make metro my primary way of commuting and that allows me to spend more time in close contact with a much larger and more varied collection of the humans of LA.

Despite what you’ve heard, LA’s public transit system is well used. The Orange Line and Red Line are packed to the gills during commuting hours filled with all kinds of folks. 

Yesterday, there was the guy with the incredibly well behaved service dog. The tall kid mean mugging who seemed to think everyone walking past him was intentionally bumping him. The high fashion young italian tourists who had little sense of US norms for personal space and who truly embodied “talking with your hands.” The mom with the precocious toddler who could only be calmed (sort of) by the glowing screen of the smart phone. The other toddler strapped tightly into her stroller who couldn’t help but swing back and forth wildly, smiling at everyone who happened to give her a glance. 

And, while I do regularly see the tactics women have to employ to avoid unwanted suitors or harassment or the men who take up too much space on the train or the obnoxious teens who get loud in the hopes of menacing or making uncomfortable the rest of us, far more often, I’m aware of the little moments of kindness.

At least once a ride, I see someone go out of their way to clear a seat for an elderly or disabled person or weary mom. Yesterday morning’s commute featured a battle for graciousness between an older gentleman and a slightly younger than him lady over who should take a recently available seat. People help each other with directions. Regular commuters nod and smile at each other across a train with common understanding. People, for the most part, leave our homeless and mentally ill, who frequent the trains, be. And sometimes, they offer a few dollars and/or a little dignity.

We’re all just humans of Los Angeles.

So, no, three out of every four Americans don’t got me fucked up.

Three out of every four Americans got me wanting to do better.

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