It may not seem like it when you’re struggling to stay vertical in a packed NYC rush hour subway car — praying that the smelly guy is not you — but that human mush is a model for world peace.

Like the earth — the subway in rush hour is not big enough. There’s not enough fresh air, light, and clean space. People shuffle onto those packed iron beasts from every walk of life lugging with them all the available racial and ethnic hostilities and isms but for the most part — they get along.

Of course you’ve got your jerks, your door blockers, your leg spreaders and the occasional early morning condemnation to eternal hell but mostly its regular folks who just want to get where they going — everyday people who give up seats, keep comments and judgments to themselves; pull out a napkin to wipe water from the seat next to them so a stranger can sit down, hand a mom the rubber toy fallen from the stroller or help the lost tourist, the disabled, the sick, the elderly while perfecting the New York art of not getting caught staring -every day folks quietly making it work.

In the worlds hot spots — the Middle East, Africa or the Balkans — extremists set the agenda. Things are not going to get better until the agenda is set by regular people with no ax to grind — like New Yorkers in the subway — who just want to get where they are going — quietly making it work

Photo by Markus Hartel (

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