How do we put a value on Random Acts of Kindness ? That discussion is continuing in Winnipeg in the wake of the story about the bus driver and the shoes.
Winnipeg transit driver Kris Doubledee took off his shoes and gave them to a barefoot man on the street, on a chilly September morn. Kris was not looking for recognition, especially not the kind that got him a plane trip to New York to appear on a U.S. network TV program. He’s a Christian and he said any of his fellow transit workers would do the same. That may seem unlikely but bless the man for putting the thought out there.
If you’re wanting a more dramatic exploration of the issue, I recommend a movie called Pay It Forward. Produced by Hollywood in 2000, it features Haley Joel Osment as a young boy who performs random acts of kindness. The people he helps, do the same, and on it goes. It’s a good movie with a bummer of an ending, and it was not a commercial success in its first release.
The skeptics, who may indeed be in the majority, say that the movie and others like it, along with the actions of people like Kris Doubledee are a dangerous fantasy. They say most homeless people have little sense of responsibility.
The man who received the shoes has yet to be found, but the naysayers expect that the footwear was immediately exchanged for alcohol or drugs, and we are foolish to expect otherwise.
The mainstream media gobbles up both points of view and spits them back through the digital world of Twitter and online comments that are posted. I would very much like to believe that Kris and others like him DO make a difference. But chances are we may never know.
After all, you can’t really know a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes, can you ?
I’m Roger Currie
You can listen to Roger Currie’s commentary by clicking on the link below: