Pay It Forward
As most children are taught, my parents gave me the “how to protect yourself” life lesson, when I left for college my father handed me pepper spray and told me to carry it everywhere with me.  The good daughter that I am, I listened.  When I walk I always keep my keys and pepper spray handy in case of emergencies and keep my purse/bag zipper towards the front and tucked under my arm. 
About two weeks ago I was on the Market Line Subway coming back from 8th Street, it was around 6 PM so the subway was packed of businessmen in suits and a few students.  Because of the time, location, and my surroundings, I felt safe and didn’t feel the need to put up such a strict guard.  Well, father knows best, I guess! An older gentlemen came up behind me, grabbed my side and my purse handles, I quickly turned around and said “excuse me?!” The man loudly said “I NEED MONEY.” It was clear the man was not sober but no one on the subway seemed to care. Instead, they looked at it as entertainment.  Two young men, probably 16 years old, turned to the man and told him to stop and leave me alone (loosely translated, they used a few other inappropriate words). The man turned away and kept an eye on me the rest of his ride.  The young boys told me they would stay on the subway with me until I got off and calmed me down.  
I wish I had asked for the boys’ names or had something to repay them with.  Their kindness outplayed the incident and made me realize you can’t judge a book by its cover, as the father aged businessmen watched my uncomfortable situation in amusement, the young men stepped up and actually took action.  Their gracious attitudes have encouraged me to “pay it forward” to those who may need assistance. We want to make our world a better place but it cannot be better unless we offer help.  
As we grow up and embark on the next part of our lives, I hope we all remember to appreciate each person and try to understand the world for what it has become.  Don’t judge a book by its cover; you never know what the next chapter will lead too.

By Emily Farrara

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