28 March, 2008

What Would You Do?

What would you do if confronted by a mugger? Read this news story straight from the pages of NPR, you won't forget what Julio did, guaranteed. This story was just too good not to post here.

Life is Good!

Morning Edition, March 28, 2008 · Julio Diaz has a daily routine. Every night, the 31-year-old social worker ends his hour-long subway commute to the Bronx one stop early, just so he can eat at his favorite diner.

But one night last month, as Diaz stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.

He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife.

"He wants my money, so I just gave him my wallet and told him, 'Here you go,'" Diaz says.

As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, "Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you're going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm."

The would-be robber looked at his would-be victim, "like what's going on here?" Diaz says. "He asked me, 'Why are you doing this?'"

Diaz replied: "If you're willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me ... hey, you're more than welcome.

"You know, I just felt maybe he really needs help," Diaz says.

Diaz says he and the teen went into the diner and sat in a booth.

"The manager comes by, the dishwashers come by, the waiters come by to say hi," Diaz says. "The kid was like, 'You know everybody here. Do you own this place?'"

"No, I just eat here a lot," Diaz says he told the teen. "He says, 'But you're even nice to the dishwasher.'"

Diaz replied, "Well, haven't you been taught you should be nice to everybody?"

"Yea, but I didn't think people actually behaved that way," the teen said.

Diaz asked him what he wanted out of life. "He just had almost a sad face," Diaz says.

The teen couldn't answer Diaz — or he didn't want to.

When the bill arrived, Diaz told the teen, "Look, I guess you're going to have to pay for this bill 'cause you have my money and I can't pay for this. So if you give me my wallet back, I'll gladly treat you."

The teen "didn't even think about it" and returned the wallet, Diaz says. "I gave him $20 ... I figure maybe it'll help him. I don't know."

Diaz says he asked for something in return — the teen's knife — "and he gave it to me."

Afterward, when Diaz told his mother what happened, she said, "You're the type of kid that if someone asked you for the time, you gave them your watch."

"I figure, you know, if you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right. It's as simple as it gets in this complicated world."

Produced for Morning Edition by Michael Garofalo.


Salem Stitcher said...

Wow. In the shadow of the robbery motivated killings we've seen around here lately, I can't imagine what courage that took. Hopefully it made a real difference to the kid and he'll think about what he wants to do with his life.

Thanks for sharing the story!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Marvelous... I am blessed know a social worker locally who would have done exactly the same kinds of things. People who truly care and are also able to translate that caring into action are a joy and a treasure.

Thank you for posting this story!

mamaspark said...

just gave me the chills. It is nice to be reminded that what we do everyday impacts someone. Thanks for sharing the story!

Shelina said...

Wow - that is an amazing story. I'm sure there are lots of people out there who just haven't learned about being nice to others - but I would be afraid of those who would just take advantage of the nice ones.

jovaliquilts said...

Thanks for sharing that story. I read a Zen story once that was similar, but it was just a story and this is real life. Wow.

kjquilts said...

That's a great story!

Karen Dianne Lee said...

Wow. Now here's a story to stop and make you think (and smile).

Faith in Humanity Love, *karendianne. who is walking away with a lesson...

Quilt Memories said...

What an amazing story,I think we all tend to forget that there are more good people in this world than bad. I just wish the "good" stories were told more often.

Pam said...

Such a great story - and something that will probably make a huge difference in that kids life.

Tanya said...

This is a wonderful story and I'm going to copy it and have some of my English students read it. Thank you.

G'G'ma said...

Thank you for sharing such a "good news story". Wouldn't it be nice to hear the "rest of the story"?
I've got a good ending in my head and hope that is what happened to the young man with the knife. May God richly bless both young men.