This poem came to mind last night when we rode the bus home from the dentist and around three-quarters of the people getting on or off made a point of thanking the driver. From "Small Kindnesses," by Danusha Laméris.
I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.