This past week I saw something that was truly inspirational. There was a homeless veteran with an amputated leg on crutches, asking for change at a stoplight of a busy intersection. We were on the other side of the intersection and saw the driver of a car attempt to hand the vet a dollar as the light changed to green. One of the two bobbled the handoff and we watched from the other side in horror as the vet, unaware that the light had changed and obviously preoccupied by the thought of his hard earned dollar escaping, juggled himself, his crutches and his cup of change in pursuit of it, right into the path of oncoming traffic. To our surprise, despite the fact that it was rush hour, no one in the cars next to us sped off, honked or even inched through the intersection. In fact, one of the drivers from that side hopped out of his car, caught the dollar, handed it to the vet and ensured that he landed safely on the curb, before getting back in his car. Once the vet was back on his perch, he realized how perilous the situation could have become. He was moved to tears as he looked across the lines of cars that had stopped for him. The vet gave a salute and it was as if there was a consensus between all of us. Relieved and inspired by the simple yet heroic act, we simultaneously pulled off from our respective sides, feeling much better about ourselves and the innate goodness of human beings.
No matter how one feels about war, panhandlers, the importance of getting home at rush hour, etc. you couldn’t help but to moved after witnessing that incident. What was even more inspiring than the young man who risked his car and his life to assist the older man who sacrificed so much for our country, was the fact that we all witnessed it and made a collective decision to participate in our own little way.
They say that the youth don’t care about the older generation and that we, as a society, don’t care about our fellow man, especially the less fortunate. I was glad to have witnessed evidence to the contrary.
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