Anatomy of an Ugly Incident


Headline in the New York Daily News:






It’s an ugly story, the New York Daily News account of  a young mother hitting an older woman with her cane after the septuagenarian “suggested” she teach her child manners.  The place was an elevator at the the subway station at 86th Street and Second Avenue.  Apparently, the mother and her son were rushing into the elevator while others were trying to get out.

No excuses will be made here for the violent behavior. But in the interests of analysis, let us look at what the victim could have done differently.

Publicly berating a mother in front of a crowd of people, including her son, is itself not very good manners.  After all, the boy was only 4 years old.

The subway is a crowded place where people rush around and some jostling is unavoidable.  Sometimes the wiser move, as zen masters tell us, is to step aside and let bad behavior pass us by.

We are pleased to learn that the assaulted woman suffered no physical injuries.

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