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Tears dissolve borders

I was travelling on the Tube yesterday to see a customer, when I noticed the lady sitting opposite me was starting to look very upset while she was texting someone. Her lip started to quiver and then tears rolled down her cheeks. The poor lady looked very distressed. I didn’t want to intrude, but when she had to dab her eyes with her scarf I gave her a tissue. She looked grateful for a moment of kindness, yet almost too upset to bear. I found this very powerful – on the Underground where, let’s face it, most of us sit in a robotic state, the depth of that emotion was very primal and almost overwhelming.

Interestingly, the English are either admired or admonished for their reserve. I looked at the people in the immediate area; I don’t think any of them were Anglo-Saxon by blood (apart from the lady speaking German), but it was clear no-one quite knew how to react – so no-one did.

I’m not sure what nationality the lady was, but she was talking a universal language at that moment and I hope – without any trace of ego here, I assure you – that she felt someone cared.


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