I watched a toddler cry while in her Daddy’s arms on a New York City subway yesterday. The baby was maybe two years old. The parents were young, but loving to the child and tolerant to her reaction to harsh subway noises and the heat of a humid summer day.
I also watched the other passengers on the subway car. They were of all races and nationalities, Black, Hispanic, Asian and White. The baby whimpered and then periodically whaled and each of us smiled.
Each of us knowing the parent’s frustration, but not wanting to participate in it or acknowledge it.
All of us passengers surrounding the toddler were of diverse and disparate backgrounds. All of us, at one time or another, glanced at the child with a loving look and even a little finger wave in hopes of distracting the child. A big burley guy, a construction worker in yellow hard hat, seemed to be the most taken and tender with the child.
Even his smile didn’t work.
Watching this child and the people around her I was reminded of a great line from Tagore, a Bengali poet. He said: “ Every child comes with a message from God that he is not discouraged with humanity.”