Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Extraordinary Virtue of Ordinary People

The New York Times carried a story today about a man by the name of Wesley Autrey who leaped onto the tracks of the subway in front of an oncoming train in order to protect a man who had just fallen onto the tracks himself. Both were unhurt, though the other man had suffered a seizure. Read the whole thing here. If you are unmoved by the story then you are a stone.

People like this always say things like "I don’t feel like I did something spectacular; I just saw someone who needed help." By saying such things they make what they did even more spectacular than it already was, and demonstrate even more clearly just what it means to be virtuous. I hope Mr. Autrey is standing nearby when I have my seizure. Better yet, I hope I'm standing nearby whenever he needs some help, so that I can have the honor and privilege of doing something--anything--to be of some small service to such a person.

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