A LESSON FROM THE YOUNG
On Thursday December 31, 2015, at 4:00 pm, the westbound Bloor subway had standing room only. Almost everyone had glum faces except for three girls and their mother who were smiling, laughing and having good time. (The girls were between 7 and 10 years old.) You would never know that it was New Year’s Eve, a time for celebration, from all the dour expressions on the adults.
The girls had made a game out of the subway’s sudden starts and stops. They enjoyed almost being knocked over. Their mother acted as a safety belt to keep the girls from falling. They refused several offers from people offering their seats. The girls were having too much fun laughing over almost being knocked over, and seeing how long they could balance themselves without grabbing a pole for support.
Such joy and laughter coming from the girls! And such dismal expressions on the faces of the surrounding adults. Some adults looked irritated over the noise the girls made.
I wanted to shout out, “People! Look at these girls. Tonight we will have a few drinks and then have as much fun as they are having now. But they don’t need alcohol to have fun. They have fun all the time, and it costs them nothing. There’s a lesson here.”
If I had a few drinks, then I would have shouted that out loud. But my inner adult told me not to say anything. “Don’t be silly,” my inner adult said. “What would people think?”