We’ve all heard it before. That old saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” But how many of us really live that adage each and every day? Or even some days?

Recently I was headed to work at my usual time and on my usual train, the #3. I was engulfed in my iPod and Nook as usual so the comings and goings of passengers went unnoticed by me. That is until the end of a tie tapped my hand. I looked over and there was a gentleman (who I did notice on the train when I got on) tying the tie of a young man. At first I thought the young man was his son, but after examining further I realized it wasn’t. Anyway, the young man was dressed in a crisp black suit with a loud silky looking baby blue shirt underneath. He was holding a folder in his hand and looked kind of nervous. Job or college interview perhaps?

The gentleman helping him must have noticed his nervousness and his untied tie and decided to help. As he tied the tie for the young man on the ridiculously packed #3 train, he explained each step to him and showed him how to loosen and tighten it after he was done. The young man was so grateful and his smile gave 1000 thank yous. Two Haitian women who were standing in front of my seat joined in and helped to fix the young man’s collar, button his cuffs and smooth out his suit jacket. I don’t think the young man was used to being fussed over because he looked a bit scared, but happy at the same time.

By the time all the fussing was over we had reached Times Square where most people, including myself, get off. The exit was sprinkled with random “Good luck son,” “You’ll do great” and other words of encouragement from passengers. The young man could do nothing but grin and say thank you. The look on his face warmed my heart and I prayed for him. I prayed because I know for possibly the first time, he walked to his destination and into his destiny with his head high and the most confidence he’s probably ever felt in his life. That day I was so proud to be a New Yorker and even more proud to be a part of the #3 train village that helped in a small way to raise a child.

How do you contribute to the village?

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