Dying Man’s Daily Journal – I could do something


I came across an article in today’s issue of the Winnipeg Free Press. It is an editorial written by Lindor Reynolds. What she writes is a very heart warming, touching story. It is about a man that should be an inspiration and a role model for us all. I have tried to convey the message contained in her article but realize Ms. Reynolds writing ability exceeds my own. I have there for taken the liberty of copying and reposting it here. This is the article written by Lyndor Reynolds in today’s issue of the Winnipeg Free Press. Please lest me know what you think.

Passengers on a Winnipeg Transit bus were stunned Tuesday morning when their driver pulled over near the corner of Portage and Main, got off, removed his shoes and gave them to a complete stranger.”Honestly, I was left speechless,” said Denise Campbell, a passenger on the No. 24 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.”She described the driver as in his mid-20s. She’s been on his bus before and says he’s always very polite.

“He says ‘Hey buddy’ to the man. He’s chatting with the fellow. They’re about the same age. I thought he knew him. All of a sudden, the driver takes his shoes off. He hands them to the man. He gets back on the bus. He has no shoes on. He’s just got his socks on.”

The man on the street was wearing a jacket but was barefoot.

The incident was over quickly and then the bus was back in motion. Campbell said she had a tear running down her cheek, moved by the spontaneous act of altruism.

Campbell said another passenger approached the driver and asked him why he did it.

“He said, ‘I just saw him walking and thought, “Hey, I could do something.” ‘ ”

What a simple, powerful statement. Hey: I could do something. Mull that over for a few minutes. It resonates.

Campbell works for the Winnipeg Foundation. When she arrived at work, she told her colleagues about the driver’s actions. Then she went online to Community News Commons (www.communitynewscommons.org), a news site sponsored by the foundation, and posted the story.

Winnipeg started talking. By mid-afternoon, it was tweeted and reposted on Facebook. The story of a man who did something remarkable is spreading like wildfire. Campbell fielded media calls all day.

Winnipeg Transit would not identify the driver Tuesday. In an email statement, transit director Dave Wardrop gave the driver credit for his good deed.

“We have all been struck by the generosity and kindness of this Winnipeg Transit bus operator. It serves as a reminder of the compassion and commitment demonstrated by City of Winnipeg employees throughout the community on a daily basis,” he wrote.

I asked the city spokespeople the obvious questions. Will the driver be recognized for his good deed? Or will he be reprimanded for an unauthorized stop and driving without shoes?

They responded by email:

“The driver’s compassion and good intentions have been acknowledged.”

Great. I hope the acknowledgement involves a parade and the keys to the city. This guy is an inspiration. Imagine if all of us took a second look at a person in need and said “Hey, I could do something.” What a world we’d live in.

Floyd Perras, executive director of Siloam Mission, was delighted when I told him the story. He said the man on the street was likely homeless.

“I guess he (the driver) found a person in an impossible situation and decided to help him,” he said. “I’ve seen people do that before. They’ll take off a brand-new parka and drape it over the shoulders of someone who is outside and cold. You’re the person on the scene and you take action.”

Here’s my proposal: Why don’t we all give it a try? Instead of being naysayers, instead of condemning the homeless or walking past someone who is lost, in trouble or hungry, why not stop? Why not say “Hey, I could do something?”

If you think the panhandlers are all bums, do something for someone else. Hold a door open. Compliment a stranger. Give your shoes away if you feel moved to commit a spontaneous act of kindness.

It’s easy to get lost in the tedium of everyday problems, in the sense that we have to blame the dogsbody of the day for whatever gripe we have with the world.

Repeat after me: Hey, I could do something. Start today. You can change the world.

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6 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – I could do something

  1. Betty says:

    This is a wonderful story and the bus driver is a very kind soul. He saw someone in need, and did something!

    Several years ago we were having some work done on the foundation of our house. One of the men hired by the firm to do the hard job of digging along the house on a hot summer day noticed my husband’s shoes and mentioned several times how much he liked them. They were just boat shoes probably bought at Target on one of our shopping trips to Grand Forks, but they were quite new. The gentleman worked very hard, but we could tell that life was not easy for him. So, at the end of the day my husband offered him the shoes. He was so happy and immediately put them on when leaving. It was such a great feeling to see him so appretiative. I can imagine how the bus driver felt seeing the man no longer shoeless. Yes, there are so many things we can do for others!!!

  2. […] Dying Man’s Daily Journal – I could do something (hudds53.wordpress.com) […]

  3. BC says:

    That’s a cracking post. Makes you think.

  4. Irene says:

    Dear Bill,
    I CAN do something. Better yet… I WILL do something right now!!! Thinking of you often…praying for you always, Wiseman.
    Irene

  5. Mel says:

    And very much like Irene..and I CAN and WILL. Right now.

    (((((((((((( Bill ))))))))))))))

    And I’ll tell ’em you sent me.

  6. rangewriter says:

    Nice story. But Bill, you are my inspiration, just being you and doing what you do.

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