Beauty in the Subway

So today while I was riding the subway to meet my friend at Hongdae I experienced one of the most beautiful things in my life.

I was standing in the middle of the subway car, clutching the handrail when I saw a couple right in front of me. It looked like an ordinary scene when it comes to couples for the most part. There was a young woman sitting in the lap of a young man, with the young man clutching his arms around the supple waist of the young woman. But here’s the catch: The young-man was handicapped and confined to a wheelchair.

What struck me as peculiar and odd was not the fact that the young woman was sitting in the lap of a guy in a wheelchair, but rather the feeling of confidence the couple radiated. There were easily around 40 people in the subway car, but these two young lovers were in their own world. They were like encased in an impenetrable bubble, impervious to the curious stares of all the others around them. Nothing else in the world mattered but one another.

At that moment I felt a wave of love and compassion fill my heart. I had never felt anything quite like it before in my life, and I kept standing there trying to bask myself in the beauty of the situation. I remember thinking to myself, “This is what true love should be.” Typically handicapped people are looked down by “physically able” people in society and are seen as weak, helpless, and needing to be taken care of by others.

However the young man in the wheelchair showed an incredible amount of masculinity and confidence, as he grasped the young woman around her waist while gently leaning his chin on her shoulder. Although he may not have been able to pick her off her feet and hold him in his arms, he really made the best of his situation and gave his young girlfriend a rest off her tired feet by letting her sit in his lap. While other people in this young man’s situation may have groaned, groveled, and felt angst towards the world for being physically handicapped, this young man realized how although physically handicapped, he was not handicapped emotionally or in spirit.

Beauty is all around you. Not only until you start paying attention do you notice.

Beauty in the Subway