Most Americans walk by homeless people all the time, avoiding eye contact and picking up our pace. Not so for one couple on the Blue Line train of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. They decided to do a good deed, without witnesses, they thought, and just felt like being generous was the right thing to do.
However, Courtney White and this wife, Tanya Prewitt-White, saw the whole thing and walked away inspired to share the good news with others. According to The Blaze:
“We were getting off at Irving Park, and I had grabbed some money to give him,” Prewitt-White, 33, told the Chicago Tribune. “My husband had the same idea, so he already had money out to give him. I handed my additional money to my husband, and he just slipped it all into the gentleman’s bag, and we walked off.”
They thought that was that, but another passenger had a different idea.
Jack Stankovic saw the couple’s gesture of kindness, snapped a photo of them as they exited the train — and then posted what he witnessed to Facebook, telling readers that ”these 2 people must be put on blast”:
Stankovic called the act “something rare and sometimes unheard of” and said it restored “his faith in humanity.” His Sunday post had received more than 73,000 shares as of Friday afternoon.
“I posted the picture because, at the time, everyone on the train was heads-down on their phones,” he told the Tribune. “We see so much negativity on a daily basis on social media. If we only took the time to look at our surroundings, we would see the positive things happening around us. We, as a society, talk about change, but rarely do we act on it. The picture symbolizes action.”
White, 42, has received Facebook messages about the gesture from overseas and stateside while colleagues at Downers Grove North, where he’s the physical education department chair, have shared it with the school community, the Tribune said.
“We were just trying to pay it forward,” Prewitt-White, a sport and health psychology professor at Adler University, told the Tribune. “My husband and I talk about this all the time — about our own self-righteousness, about how it’s easier to become hardened and not make eye contact or smile at people who appear homeless because then you don’t have to look pain and suffering in the face. It’s definitely been a journey for the two of us.”
It’s easy to get skeptical with the news repeatedly telling us how depraved humanity is, so, it’s inspiring to watch while two wonderful people do something loving, without any interest in filming it, posting it, Pinning It, SnapChatting or all manner of social promotion platforms.
Instead, this couple just paid-it-forward and kept moving. A truly beautiful action.
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