Three things to do when someone passes out on BART
What would you do if you saw someone passed out on BART and you’re not really sure what’s going on? This happened to rider Ginger M., who saw a young man on BART who was not in such good shape. As she considered the possibilities, she saw another passenger approach the man with such compassion and kindness that really made an impression on her.
Here’s Ginger’s story:
While riding on BART in the afternoon to work there was a person so passed out that they were hanging over the end of the seat. There was much blond hair hanging down and food strewn around.
1st thought: Junkie?
2nd thought: Are they dead?
3rd thought: Are they okay; is this a person who has been drugged and assaulted?
4th thought: Should I tell someone?
5th and full thought through this entire thing: Should I do something?
While I was asking myself all sorts of questions, a black man who was sitting behind me moved up to sit behind this person, whom other people had moved away from. He sat for a moment and then spoke to the passed out person who turned out to be a young man in velvet pants.
They talked. Talked in good ways.
We all got off at the same stop together and I watched that wonderful man walk with him to get him to a good place.
I will never forget that act today. One of courage. And one of great compassion. To that man today, I honor you.
A good lesson of compassion on public transit or anywhere. Thanks, Ginger! Got other important news for your fellow riders? Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) is always open!
I always ask a question to those boarding which stop they need, especially if they’re tired. If I don’t get any response I tell them I am not returning downtown as I am going out of service at the end of the line. If they know where they are going, all is well. Calling out stops helps keep them stay alert to where they are. By being concerned for their destination keeps dignity intact and the other passengers relax. I am continually amazed at how good this works.