This morning when I got on the train it was already packed. Since my job is waaaaaay on the other side of town, about 7 stops from mine the crowd begins to thin out and by the time I get to work there might be about 2 other people on the train.
Anyway, like I said, the train was packed. Because I might see maybe 5 black people in a typical week in Portland, I'm always glad to see a black person besides myself. When the door of the train opened it was standing room only, as expected. The first person I saw was this black boy, about maybe 6, sitting down eating a sandwich, next to a white male in suit. He looked to be maybe in his 30s. The boy's father, a tall black man in what looks like a mechanic's uniform, is standing next to him. At the next stop, more people entered the train. There was an older asian woman who looked to be in her late 60s , walking in. She was hunched over. She stood in front of the suited white male who was closest to the door. Assuming he would do the right thing, I watched and was surprised but what he did, or I should say, by what he didn't do; he looked at her and then he looked away and then he began to read his newspaper. No, he didn't get up. For a minute I forgot the boy was sitting there until less than a minute later he stood up immediately, stood next to his father and held his hand, and offered his seat to the lady. My guess is that he was waiting for the suited man next to him to do the right thing. I loved how the boy knew what to do without his father having to ask him to get up.
The woman said - "No, please young man,sit back down. I just have 3 stops."
The boy said - "I don't mind standing. Please have my seat. Please."
The woman smiled at him and then at his father. She said -"It's obvious you're raising him well."
The father smiled at her- "Thank you mam."
It had me thinking, what is the most important thing to teach a child?
My answer: I taught my son alot of lessons, but if I had to guess what was the most important, I would say, it's to treat people as he'd like to be treated. And, to respect the elderly. And to always be a gentlemen. And to treat women the way he would want someone to treat his mom. He succeeded in every way.
What is your answer?