Intuitive Subway Miracles

Anyone who rides the New York City subway on a regular basis has seen and experienced the most extraordinary and unusual things.  The subway is host to every type of human who do all the things that humans are capable of doing.  The seasoned passenger has experienced it all:  things that are violent, touching, disgusting, hilarious, enraging, beautiful, terrifying.   The story I’d like to share is a common, everyday occurrence - I’ve seen and experienced it dozens of times. It is miraculous, simple, and beautiful.  

The story is this:  A woman with a baby carriage is standing at the top of a staircase.  A stranger asks if they may help her carry it downstairs to the train platform. The woman says yes.  Together, they bring the carriage down the stairs.  The woman says thank you (maybe) and then the stranger walks away.  

After the stranger asks, ‘Do you need help?’ the mother always hesitates before answering.  It’s never a long hesitation, usually it’s less than a second.  This silent instant is completely extraordinary.  In this frame of time, the mother does a scan of the stranger, subconsciously taking in all available information about the stranger.  The stranger is being judged by his/her body language, inflection of voice, athleticism, wardrobe, belongings, race/gender/class (if the mother judges people by this criteria), intent, sanity, social cues, and cleanliness.  In this instant, the mother decides if she may trust the stranger with the life of her child.  

This is an amazing example of the strength, quickness, and accuracy of human intuition.  Our subconscious mind does things inexplicable to our conscious minds.  Our conscious mind allows itself days, weeks, months, even years to ‘decide’ that we trust someone or that we do not.  The subconscious is perhaps more time sensitive and comes to its own conclusions much quicker.  The subconscious speaks to our conscious through the sense of intuition - and we are in tune to it or we second guess it.  Viva la intuition.  


Josh Giunta is a music producer who writes about learning, the creative process, the relation of art & science, and more.


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