Monday, December 3, 2012

Michael Josephson: Not everyone in need has a brick

  A successful man known for his philanthropy was driving his new car through a poor part of town. He’d driven the route hundreds of times before on his way home.

  A young boy tried to flag him down. The man was in a hurry and didn’t want to get involved, so he pretended he didn’t see him. The traffic signal turned red, though. As he slowed for it, he heard a loud thud. The boy had thrown a brick at his car!

  The man burst out of the car and grabbed the boy. “You juvenile delinquent!” he screamed. “You’ll pay for this or go to jail!”

  “I’m sorry, mister,” the boy cried. “My mom’s lying on the floor in our apartment. I think she’s dying! Our phone’s been cut off and I’ve been trying to get someone to stop. I didn’t know what else to do! Take me to jail, but call a doctor for my mom first.”

  The man was filled with shame. “I’m a doctor,” he said. “Where is she?” The grateful boy took him to his apartment. The man administered CPR and called an ambulance.

  “Will she live?” the boy sobbed.

  “Yes, son, she will,” the doctor said.

  “Then it’s worth going to jail. I’m so sorry I hit your new car. You can take me in now.”

  “You’re not going anywhere,” the doctor said. “It was my fault you had to throw a brick to get my attention.”

  The doctor made sure the boy was taken care of, and as he drove home he resolved not to fix the dent. He would keep it as a reminder that not everyone in need has a brick to throw.

  About the author: Michael Josephson is one of the nation’s most sought-after and quoted ethicists. Founder and president of Josephson Institute and its CHARACTER COUNTS! project, he has conducted programs for more than 100,000 leaders in government, business, education, sports, law enforcement, journalism, law, and the military. Mr. Josephson is also an award-winning radio commentator.

  This article was published by the Josephson Institute.

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