The news came to me earlier today that my daughter’s oldest and best friend forever, who is the mother to a beautiful young woman, suffered a horrific and brutal attack on San Francisco’s T Line train. She remains in the hospital.

This young woman did nothing wrong except board this San Francisco bus. Then came along eight other teenagers — recently ejected from Walgreens for rowdiness— who boarded the same bus and then decided to make my friends’ daughter the next recipient of their bad behavior. There were eight of them against this one young woman.

The only thing this young woman was doing was talking one the phone. That was it. Then came the demand for the phone, the verbal assaults and threats, throwing objects at this young woman, more intimidation, and then, when she left the bus, these eight young people followed her and beat her.

She remains in the hospital. Sure, she will be discharged and hopefully, take up her activities once again. But there are these psychic scars that will remain forever. The fear and the anxiety and just the dread of going out of the house will be with her.

Before you, kind reader, just shake your head and say to yourself, “isn’t that just too bad, it’s just so awful,” please think again.

There is something someone could have done. There were many people on the bus, who, from the safety of their seat and unnoticed from the perpetrators, they could have dialed 911. Someone could have shouted, come to her aid by starting to act loud and crazy to get the attention away from this young woman. Someone could have gotten off the bus with her.

The bus driver, unable to intervene physically, did call the police, but by then, it was too late. She was off the bus and alone. Someone could have gotten off the bus with her. In situations like this one — every moment counts and a phone call just a few minutes beforehand could have prevented her from being brutally hurt.

Next time, get out of your comfort zone and be a citizen, a human being and yell and keep yelling until more aid arrives.

Be loud — stop being afraid for yourself and keep yelling.

Begin to consider that this young woman could have been your daughter, your sister, your best friend. Consider that this young woman could have been you.

I am certain you would want some assistance. So did she. She didn’t need to experience that terror, that pain.

Consider the new normal we are living under: aggression, alpha male mentality, brute force — anything resembling empathy, kindness and simple intelligence is out of favor.

When I heard about this my stomach lurched and twisted. I do not believe there is nothing we can do.

We can yell and be loud and keep yelling until something changes.

Mothers, as their children grow and leave, begin to think of them as babies.

I remember this young woman’s mother and her sister and my daughter playing long hours and having wonderful conversations — as only three year children can have. We went to the movies and to the park and shopping for playful trinkets for hours.

I still believe — as Anne Frank wrote-that people are still good at heart. The outpouring of goodwill for this young woman has begun but one day, as life goes on, this young woman will be alone with that memory of that day.

The day when no one yelled and kept yelling until help came. And no one placed themselves in her situation.

Today I want to feel this anger, this twisted stomach of mine. Because too much of the time humanity proves to be inhumane.

Next time, do something when you see someone being attacked. Get out of your comfort zone and yell about this world of ours.

This world that we are leaving for our children.

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Nancy Snyder

Published by Nancy Snyder