|Kris Doubledee, Winnipeg Free Press Photo|
"I had to help him, anyone would have done it," he said in an interview with the Free Press.
Wow. Such a simple, yet heroic act of kindness.
I keep wondering if I would do something like this? I mean, I would like to say that this is something I would do without hesitation, but honestly I'm not sure that it is. In fact, as bad as this sounds, looking at the shoes on my feet right now, I know that I would have a hard time giving them to someone else, no matter what the circumstance. (I would lend them, perhaps. But I love these shoes...)
I know this sounds awful; it's a true testament to my character and to Doubledee's character. It's also a wake up call for me.
This omission and self-realization is enough to make me want to change things about myself. It should be a no-brainer that if I have the ability to help someone, whether it means outwardly giving them something tangible or giving them something intrinsic, I should. (This includes parting with my beloved shoes if I ever found myself in the same kind of situation as Doubledee.)
It seems to have become so easy to overlook other people in need, whether they are friends or strangers. But that's not the person I want to be. Am I desensitized? Am I bad person? Am I just selfish?
Last week I taught my four-year-old niece what the word 'respect' means. Since she just started nursery school, I wanted to make sure that she knew how to treat other people in a kind and compassionate way. I know I'm one of her role models and I know that she listens to me whole heartily.
"Treat others as you want to be treated." I told her.
Like the little sponge of knowledge that she is, she absorbed the message and we made a video. (We always make videos. We're both camera hams and it's our thing...)
Flash forward to today, and my selfish omission that I probably wouldn't give the shoes off my feet to someone in need, I feel like an absolute heel. (Pun intended.) That certainly isn't treating someone the way I would want to be treated. I'm teaching the kid values that I don't necessarily follow myself all of the time.
It's simple: Treat others as you want to be treated.
A four-year-old gets it, and so should I.
The funny thing about life, and people like Doubledee is that his good deed not only helped a man who was down and out, it also helped someone like me. I may never be in a situation where I will give someone the shoes off my feet, but I am sure that many opportunities to help people will be presented, and perhaps I will be a little more apt to recognize and respond to them.
PHOTO SOURCE: Winnipeg Free Press