This world may be a mess, but many of the people in it are good-hearted citizens. They want to help others and are willing to “be the change” they desire to see. Sadly, mainstream media does not report on these happenings. As a result, many are left to believe this shared experience is darker than it really is. Hopefully, the following story re-inspires your faith in humanity, as well as compels you to extend help the next time you see someone suffering.
While riding the subway in Chicago last Friday evening, attorney Jessica Bell witnessed something that brought tears to her eyes. A homeless man (who later revealed he is from Louisiana) pulled his cold, swollen feet from a flimsy pair of running shoes. As she put it, he was clearly not dressed for winter in the Midwest. The sight, as you might imagine, was hard to take in. Bell wrote on Facebook,
“I don’t know how many pairs of socks he’s wearing in an attempt to keep his feet warm but there is blood seeping through.”
In the same subway car was 38-year-old Maurice Anderson. He was traveling back to his hometown to see his daughter — a trip he makes every weekend. Though he was “minding his own business,” according to Bell, he happened to witness the heartbreaking scene. Bell described him:
“There’s another man on the other side of the doors; he’s younger, carrying a satchel and a suitcase, also minding his own business. He’s wearing a pair of big black snow boots. They look new; they look expensive; they’re built for a Chicago winter.”
Suddenly, in a “blink and you’ll miss it fashion,” Anderson slipped off his own shoes and passed them to the older man. He also opened his suitcase and gave him a pair of socks. According to GoodNewsNetwork, Anderson had purchased the pair of boots just a few weeks prior and had paid $260 for them. Because there is no price one can put on humanity, however, he unlaced and gifted them within 30 seconds.
Anderson asked what size the man wore. He replied “12” — the shoes were 12-and-a-half. Just like that, Anderson pulled out a second pair of shoes. “These shoes are nice too, but not as nice as the boots,” Jessica wrote. “They would have fit the old man just as well, but they were not what this old man needed.” With this statement, she was referring to socks. Anderson agrees with this observation. He told GoodNewsNetwork:
“If you’ve got 20 pairs of shoes, you can only wear one at a time. I wished I’d had more socks.”
Bell wrote that those who were present in the car were “floored” by the generous act. This prompted the attorney, who is the founder of Project Bleeding Love (an organization that supplies homeless women with feminine hygiene products) to approach Anderson after the encounter and thank him. “I’ve never witnessed anything like that,” she said, giving him her card so they could stay in touch.
Via email, Bell disclosed that she posted about Maurice “because we’ve all given, or see people give food, or money to the homeless, but I have never seen someone give the clothes off their back so unselfishly and so humbly.”
The good Samaritan alluded to this in her Facebook post:
“I pray that we all are compelled to do similar.
I pray that we all allow empathy to invoke action.
I pray that we never forget that we have always had the power to be a blessing.
I’m inspired to continue to try to “be the change” and I pray you are too.”
So I'm headed home on the CTA Redline and there's a homeless man sitting across from me. He's older, weathered, minding…
Anderson has been trying to find a job as a laborer. Hopefully, his newfound fame helps him secure rewarding employment. Never forget — this world is full of people conducting good deeds. If you can’t find ‘em, be one.
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