A few weeks ago Toronto was voted the least liked Canadian city by the rest of Canada. While I could not fathom why anyone would so completely despise my city, [30 per cent of Albertans saying they disliked Toronto. That opinion was shared by 27 per cent of those in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and 23 per cent in British Columbia.] after having noticed some distinct incidences of abject unkindness I have to wonder whether our brothers and sisters out west may be on to something.
Both instances happened today in one trip on the TTC. In the first instance a young lady was sitting on the upper level of the bus with two bags of shopping items. She had the bags on the seat next to her, when the bus jerked forward her items spilled out, some fell right at her feet while one other slipped through and fell next to the back door. Just as this happened a gentleman walked over to the door in preparation for his stop. He looked down at the item, looked at the young lady and told her – there is one here – or something to that effect. He stood next to the item while she picked up the others and did not venture to pick up the one item next to his feet. He had to wait at least another 2-3 minutes on the bus until it was his stop and got off. I think the two women ahead of me, myself and the young lady were all in shock cause we looked at each other like huh?! I guess he figured he’d done his bit by telling her that the item had dropped next to his foot.
(BTW the items were body wash and lotions and air fresheners selling for very very cheap at Bath & Body Works at Eglinton & Warden, I am talking $1.50 for a full bottle cheap)
The second instance was even more appalling to me, again on the TTC this time it involved a senior citizen sitting at the front of the bus, she had a shopping cart and it to fell forward as a result of the bus jerking forward. Another passenger had just stood up and to wait for her stop. Passenger 2 having heard the cart fall next to her feet looked down at it, then looked back at the senior struggling to pick it up and proceeded to turn back without so much as attempting to lift the handle of the cart which was literally sitting right next to her knee.
On both instances given my distance from the incident it did not make much sense to me get up to help; one because seeing others who were closer to the situation I assumed they would assist and two by the time I got over the shock the persons who needed help ended up doing it themselves.
Now I don’t know maybe I am expecting too much from a metropolitan city like Toronto. Maybe, we all are really too caught up in our own worlds to give a damn about others, but seriously when the person is right next to you is it really THAT hard???!! Are we really such an insular and unkind place? I have been noticing Toronto slipping over the years; people becoming less civil to each other, treating the TTC like their own personal garbage-bin, refusing to say excuse me and please (like the folks in Word Up!! Why I Write, put it), but today’s incidents were on another level for me. I just could not believe it. Isn’t this the holiday season when we are supposed to at least pretend to be kind to each other – peace on earth, good will towards men – and all that? Maybe our propensity for warmth and kindness is becoming trapped in the walls of the many condos that are going up way too quickly all over the city. Or maybe we are all just finding less to be happy about in this increasingly expensive ‘chic’ town that Toronto is trying to become.
Either way, we may boast of our status as the most multicultural city and the nations largest city and all the other things we brag about, but if we are lacking in basic human kindness then I’d say we are heading down an ugly slippery slope.
Pull up your socks Toronto..WE can ALL do better!
As always We are yours
the traveling black chicks!