Mike shared a great story with me that he caught on Yahoo’s home page. It reminded me of a concept I shared with my students in class on Tuesday about people’s behavior in disaster. On Tuesday, we watched Boatlift – a short documentary video (approximately 11 minutes) about the amazing boat evacuation on 9/11. 500,000 people were evacuated off Manhattan by hundreds of boat owners. It was a great example of regular folks in the community stepping in to help. The video and so many other stories like it – stories where regular folks help others who are in crisis – serve to reinforce the message I shared with the class – the message that when push comes to shove, humanity trumps. It is there when folks are in need…it is there in the midst of seeming chaos…it is there in the darkest of hours…humanity endures and delivers time and time again.
In the Yahoo story about Jhaqueil Reagan of Indianapolis, Indiana, the message is delivered again. I am including the short story by Melissa Knowles in its entirety here, but if you would like to see a short video clip on this story click here.
Jhaqueil Reagan of Indianapolis, Indiana, was walking down the street on his way to interview for a minimum wage job. He happened to cross paths with Art Bouvier, who was laying rock salt on the ground outside his restaurant, Papa Roux, after an ice storm had hit the area earlier in the morning.
Bouvier said the 18-year-old approached him and asked how far it was to 10th and Sherman. Bouvier said the distance was at least six or seven miles, so he told Reagan that he would be better off taking a bus instead of walking, especially considering the freezing temperature. Reagan said “thank you” and kept on his way to the job interview.
Later, Bouvier and his wife were driving to grab coffee, and they came across Reagan again–still walking, so they offered him a ride. Reagan shared with the couple that he was on his way to a thrift shop to interview for a job, and he did not have money for bus fare. Reagan also shared that his mother had passed away and he was left to care for his two younger siblings. After his mom died a couple of years ago, he ended up dropping out of high school and obtaining his GED.
After hearing the teen’s story, Bouvier told Reagan that even if he was offered the thrift shop job, he would hire him and double his salary. Bouvier was impressed with the teen’s ambition and work ethic. Reagan accepted the job, and his first day was Monday. He cannot believe how everything turned out for him saying, “My heart’s just racing right now. I’m just too excited, just excited to start.”
Bouvier wanted to share the encounter with his friends, so he wrote about it on Facebook. The story is going viral, with more than 15,000 likes so far. People are applauding the teen’s work ethic and Bouvier’s generosity.
One person wrote, “you are a blessing from above, and some good will come to you.” Another added, “so kindness does exist? Warms my heart!”
In addition, IndyGo, the local public transportation system, gave Reagan a free one-year pass.
Like I said – humanity trumps.
Day one thousand three hundred and thirty-one of the new forty – obla di obla da