The Value of Selfishness on the Subway in China

Since I am not “balling out of control” and do not own a car, nor would it really be economical given the price of gas and the traffic, I rely on taking the metro to get to where I need to go in China. The subway trains here in Guangzhou tend to be very crowded, especially on the lines that I have to take to get to and from work.

Markings encouraging subway riders to queue up

Although there are subway safety officers and floor markings to encourage people to be courteous when embarking and disembarking on the train, few local people, if any, actually pay much attention to them. In fact, aside from the cases of people giving up their seats for the elderly, it seems as if foreigners are the only people that heed the markings, likely in a bid to be polite in their new host country. In the end, trying to be the “nice laowai” does not pay off much, especially when you’re not a super-duper White pretty boy.

Well, your Admiral’s been hitting the gym and getting them gainz back. The subway gives me a chance to unleash Hell up in the place. I have caught a few elbows here and there, so I have decided to dish a few back. When in Rome, I suppose. I have learned to push, shove, and anchor myself with the best of them, of course, making sure to stay abreast of any stray hands that might try to slip into my pocket, or brokebacks that might try to grab my ass.

On the day of this writing, I let out a bestial howl as I stood my ground, drawing primal energy to ensure that I got to work on time, and that my space on the train was secured. Some of you are probably saying that “I be making Black folk look bad mayne.” We already look bad, and there is little that I can do about it as an individual. I can, however, show that I will stand up for myself and take action to get what I want out of my life. This has gained me more respect than trying to play nice and beg for love through politeness; even if I did not gain rapport, I got to work on time.

Selfishness is important to claim your spot on crowded subways in China

The Takeaway

These battles for dominance on public transportation are not only exhilarating, but they also teach a valuable lesson. In this world, every unit must look out for itself, even if it comes at the expense of other units. Units may be defined as individuals, families, races, nations, and so forth. We must all act in our own interests without apologizing.

Those that refuse to do so will be used as the tools of others, feeding their masters as they starve themselves. Yes, there are times, places, and situations where being considerate of others’ needs is beneficial, particularly when you are dealing with people that are on your team, or in your unit. Still, you should not feel guilty about taking advantage of any opportunity that you can, particularly for those of us that are being taught to accept a position as “good losers.”

Using the guilt of others as a weapon is acceptable if it is possible, but the world is waking up and unashamedly using whatever tools they have in their arsenals to get what they want and conquer what they can. It would be wise for every man to acquire more weaponry and enhance that which they already have (metaphorically, and perhaps literally, if times call for it) to prepare for the storm. The rains are already here, but believe me, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Protect yourselves and your interests at all times, by any means necessary and available.

This post was originally written on February 20th, 2016, Beijing Standard Time.