Just like the nightly news, what most often gets broadcast about MARTA is the negative, whether some type of crime or some crazy lady going off on the train. But every day there are many more positive things going on.
So, the cheese jar. I was about to exit the fare gate at a MARTA station, and a young woman by herself was trying to carry her grocery bags into the station. In the process, she dropped a jar of very yellow-looking processed cheese and the glass shattered and the cheese stuff was all over the floor. She had already tapped her Breeze card to enter the station, so she was trying to hold open the fare gate while she recovered several of her bags.
Shortly after, another commuter came up behind her. He picked up another grocery item she had dropped and then he also picked up the cheese-coated glass chard of jar remains and placed it in the trash. It was very pleasant to witness the scene, and while perhaps a more extreme version of riders being helpful, it isn't the only good thing going on.
Rush hour I regularly see men offer up their seats to women. Someone leaves behind an umbrella or drops a piece of paper, and another passenger alerts the person. Once I even dropped a whole shoe out of a gym bag and another commuter chased after me with it. People tend to watch out for each other, but there isn't anything being printed in the paper or shown on TV about that. There are nice people. And many are also happy to provide directions. And it isn't just one type of person. There are professional men and women, families with kids, college students, tourists and people getting off a long shift at work.
So the next time you see a story in the news that plays up one negative incident, just think about the everyday people helping strangers, even those who bust up their cheese sauce.