by Trish Overby
This week I saw a news feature about two bus drivers who found and helped young children walking alone along their route. Local Milwaukee TV station reported on these same day events involving two very young children. The two lady bus drivers spotted the children and brought them to their respective buses to wait for the police. One of them stated: “My mother instincts just kicked in right away and I knew he needed help. So, I helped him on board the bus and tried to help him as best I could. I thank God that I was in that place at that time to be able to help him.”
Cressida Neal and Cecilia Nation-Gardner showed us what it is to be responsible in an unusual situation. For Ms. Nation-Gardner it was her second rescue in four months. (She ran into busy traffic to rescue a child who had wondered away from school.) I wondered what motivates a person to do something like this. Is it duty or instinct – or can it come from within us to do the right thing at the right moment?
Taking responsibility for the life of someone else seems to be a moral issue. Whether we see someone in distress or homeless, it can bring a hurt in our hearts that tells us we should do something to help. Of course, natural disasters give us perfect examples of helping over and beyond what is needed. People from around the country come to offer support and help to those in need at those times. They give up their time, money and muscle power to clean up, rebuild and support the ones around them. They are responsible for those in their own or others’ community.
It appears to me that these responses go beyond just our civic responsibility of voting, jury duty and defending our country. The above examples of ‘doing unto others’ seem to come from within. It is a knowing what is the right thing to do. It is acknowledging the other person as a person and not some object that isn’t human. It is our duty and our responsibility to help those in need. After all, it is what America was based on – “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….” The dignity we give to another can spur more of us to do the same. It is what makes America great.
“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12 (New Revised Version)