I’m shy; I hate talking to strangers; I do not enjoy drawing attention to myself. Using that information, determine which of the following I am least likely to do when a stranger intentionally hits me with his briefcase, pushing me dangerously close to falling off the subway platform:
a.) Ignore it and go about my day even though I am scared for my life.
b.) Smile at him to try to instill some sort of kindness into him since clearly he needs it if he’s going around pushing strangers.
c.) Push him back because he obviously deserves it.
d.) Shout (not actually loudly, but because I never even talk to strangers let alone yell at them, it seems loud to me), “What are you doing?!”
The answer is c. I would never push someone off the subway platform. But this guy almost did it to me. What happened was, I was walking near the edge and he came out in front of me, hitting me on accident with his briefcase. When he realized he hit someone, he turned to look at me, and, because it was his fault, I didn’t say sorry for being hit. Apparently, that made him mad, and as I continued to walk to try to get away from him, he swung his briefcase at me, pushing me closer to the edge.
Of course he didn’t answer when I asked what he was doing. Of course he probably thought he was in the right, somehow, for purposely hitting a woman who was just trying to get to the L train. Of course if I had actually fallen onto the tracks, he would have thought it was my own fault for not apologizing the first time he hit me.
But when something like that occurs on the same day that yet another shooting story becomes national news, it makes me wonder if some people actually are, deep down, cruel people, and not just insane as I’d previously assumed. Or is there any difference?