From our guest contributor, Michael Josephson.
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.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
Michael Josephson is an influential and internationally renowned champion of character education for youth and ethical conduct in business, government, policing, journalism, sports, healthcare and law. He is credited by many as the person most responsible for reviving and professionalizing the character education in school and youth-serving organizations. In 1992, under the auspices of the Josephson Institute he created CHARACTER COUNTS!, the world’s most widely implemented character development initiative based on a common language of shared values – the Six Pillars of Character) and Pursuing Victory With Honor (1996), a companion program promoting ethics in sports.