There was a 50 year old man on the train shrieking into his phone. I was wearing earplugs yet I could hear every word. "Amy's been emailing me about this real estate, and I don't like her tone, but she said to get George our contractor to take a look and he said that she said that they said . . . "
It was going on for about ten minutes. Then one brave soul said "Shhhhhhh!" As soon as the first "Sh" left his mouth, there were four others who chimed in, one even adding an "It's ridiculous!"
It happens often on the train; only when people are sure of backup will they loudly admonish the behavior around them.
There really is something to the "hot bathwater" mashal that we use for Amalek. Only when one cannonballs in, insisting that the water's fine, will others happily splash into the fray.
There are so many ways that this can take place, and I've fallen so often into that trap. Let's say I'm having a conversation with a group of people, and one person makes a snarky remark about another, and then I'll laugh and join in with another anecdote at their expense. I never liked it when it was done to me; yet there is always that validation that comes with others' support.
I'm trying hard now not to get sucked into Charybdis.