A stooped, older Black woman with a gorgeous hairwrap and her caretaker (family member? aid?) get on a mildly crowded train. The two men (one white, one Black) sitting near the door immediately get up, shuffle, switch places and slowly help the older woman into her seat -- the walker creates less room for everyone. No one complains.
SAME RIDE, 10 mins later.
A healthier, older, quiet Latinx woman gets on at 59th - a young Black man who had been present for the walker-shuffle asks her if shes like a seat and quickly moves so she can sit.
Theory: Kindness is catching if people are witnessing.