NOTE: This was originally published September 20, 2012, but I thought this message of giving and gratitude was just as appropriate now. 🙂
Everywhere I turn these days, I keep hearing the Demi Lovato song “Skyscraper” – which is a-ok with me, because I absolutely adore that song. The chorus has such a strong, important message: ‘You can take everything I have / You can break everything I am / Like I’m made of glass / Like I’m made of paper / Go on and try to tear me down / I will be rising from the ground / Like a skyscraper / Like a skyscraper’. It’s kind of the essence of life, don’t you think? This world sends SO MUCH SHIT our way, and tries to knock us down repeatedly…but somehow, we humans are like phoenixes, rising again and again from the smoldering ruins of our lives. I love that resiliency – but I so wish that we didn’t take so many hits, and that we didn’t have to rise quite so many times. Our media is saturated with stories of people doing wrong, people being hurt by those around them…it’s exhausting, all this negativity. It wears me down that all we seem to hear is the shitty things that we do to each other – what is going to happen to society? At the rate we are going, I pity future generations…I really do. 😦
But then, every so often, a beautiful story like this comes along – and makes every thing right again: 🙂
Commuters on a Winnipeg bus Tuesday morning became unexpected witnesses to an incredible act of kindness.
According to CBC News, the bus driver pulled over on a corner and began chatting with a homeless man on the street. After a couple of minutes, he removed his shoes and gave them to the barefoot young man. The driver then got back on the bus in his socks and carried on with his route.
Yahoo news noted that it was particularly cold that morning — about 41 degrees; The bus driver yelled, ‘Hey buddy!’ as he braved the cold weather and got off the bus.
“I was thinking, ‘Oh no, there’s a problem or maybe he’s waiting for someone who’s running to catch the bus.’ Then he stepped off,” passenger Denise Campbell recounted to CBC News.
Commuters sat in stunned silence, according to another passenger’s account on Community New Commons, as they watched the encounter through the bus windows.
When the bus driver returned without his shoes and started the bus again, one of the passengers told the driver that his random act of kindness was one of the most amazing things she’d ever seen, asking him why he did it.
He replied, “I couldn’t stand seeing someone walking barefoot in this temperature like this,” according to Campbell. “He said, ‘I just saw him walking and thought, ‘Hey, I could do something’,” she added.
“There wasn’t a dry eye on the bus. All the passengers were moved by this bold and selfless gesture,” one passenger commented.
Winnipeg Transit director Dave Wardrop issued a statement on Tuesday commending the generous driver but did not identity the man who is described as being in his mid-20s and very polite.
“We have all been struck by the generosity and kindness of this Winnipeg Transit bus operator,” Wardrop said in the statement. “It serves as a reminder of the compassion and commitment demonstrated by City of Winnipeg employees throughout the community on a daily basis.”
Watch Cambell’s eye-witness account of that Tuesday morning bus ride in the video below, courtesy of CBC News.
Isn’t that just about the best story you’ve heard in ages? I looooove it!!! 🙂 I would like to think I’m the kind of person who would do this, but…I’m afraid that I’m probably not. I would have a hard time parting with my shoes, in the first place (which makes me SUCH an asshole, I know…I am full of shame about that – sorry). I have been known to stop and help homeless people from time to time (I never give them money anymore – I prefer to take them somewhere and buy them food, if I can), but I’m also ashamed to admit that some times I find it easier to avert my eyes…and I don’t know why that is. That sickens me that I have done that, for they are people with a story, too – but I know I’m not the only one guilty of this. The reason I do it is because I have been confronted in a very aggressive manner by many homeless folks in the street, and sometimes their aggression has scared the shit out of me – so I suppose I do what I do out of fear. And that’s ridiculous. I know better than that – I was raised better than that. My parents always stopped to help those who needed it – my Dad was late for more than one Christmas Eve dinner because he was driving one of the town drunks home rather than leave the guy walking in the snow and cold – and invariably the guy would end up peeing his pants in our car, but…my Dad didn’t care – he was just like that…and my Mom was exactly the same way, come to think of it. Hearing this story about the Winnipeg bus driver (and how proud am I that a Manitoban did this???! VERY!!! I’m a Manitoban!!! Woooohoooooo!!!!!!!!) has reminded me of the importance of being kind to my fellow man (and woman)…perhaps I have become too selfish, too wrapped up in the drama of my own existence (of which there is more than I would like, sadly), and I’ve probably lost sight of the importance of doing for others. I try to approach every one that I meet in my day with a kind word and an open heart – and I hope that I succeed sometimes, but…I need to work on that. Although there are a kajillion things that I really want and would like in life, I am so blessed to have all of the beautiful things and amazing people in my life that I do have – I need to remember that, and be grateful every single day that I am as lucky as I am. I need to spread some of my good will to those around me – it’s like the idea of paying something forward…your kindnesses will be returned tenfold. 🙂