David Bruce: The Kindest People: Be Excellent to Each Other (Volume 4) (Free PDF)

Chapter 1: 1-50

  1. “You Won’t Believe What I Just Did”

Late on 13 July 2013, Wayne County Sheriff’s Sergeant Brian Glatfelter saw an SUV go through some red lights in Westland, Michigan. He pulled the SUV over, and a woman in the backseat said, “I’m having a baby.” Sergeant Glatfelter replied, “Yes, you are.” He got his medical kit and gloves, both for himself and the woman’s husband. Sergeant Glatfelter said, “I told him, ‘We’re having this baby right here.” Sergeant Glatfelter also called EMS and talked to the dispatcher. He said, “I don’t even remember everything they asked me.” He and the husband got ready for the arrival of the baby. Five minutes after he had pulled the SUV over, the baby — a girl — was born. He said, “It kind of felt like when I was in the delivery room with my own kids. I was high-fiving the dad. The mom did all the work. I was just the guide.” Thirty seconds after the birth, EMS arrived and took the mother and baby to Oakwood Hospital. Sheriff Benny Napoleon said in a statement, “Our personnel are trained to handle all sorts of situations, but it’s not every day they encounter a woman in heavy labor during a routine traffic stop.” He added that Sergeant Glatfelter’s “intervention and professional training helped this family bring their newborn into the world safely. We’re glad he was there to assist and wish them all the best.” After delivering the baby, Sergeant Glatfelter texted his wife, “You won’t believe what I just did.” He said, “She’s like, ‘Get out. You’re kidding.’ I told her I wasn’t. When I got home, we were up for a while talking. I was pretty keyed up.”

  1. What We Do When We Assume No One is Paying Attention Demonstrates Our True Character”

Michael Stein of Vienna, Virginia, witnessed a good deed performed by Otto Porter Jr., who played at Georgetown and was the National Basketball Association’s Washington Wizards’ 2013 first-round draft pick. In an 8 October 2013 letter to the editor of the Washington Post, Mr. Stein wrote, “What we do when we assume no one is paying attention demonstrates our true character. On Friday, during a very stressful week for Washington, I looked to escape the madness for 30 minutes on what was a warm fall afternoon. I was reading The Post and eating a quick lunch at a table outside a local sandwich shop while a disheveled homeless man sat nearby, persistently and unsuccessfully asking anyone who walked by if he or she could ‘spare a sandwich.’ After about 25 minutes, Otto Porter Jr., the Georgetown basketball star and the Washington Wizards’ newest first-round draft pick, drove up, hopped out of his car and entered the shop. Mr. Porter soon exited with his sandwich and drink — but also with a sandwich, a bag of chips and a drink for the homeless man. Mr. Porter then sat down next to the man, and they both enjoyed their sandwiches while making small talk. It was a wonderful thing to watch. This pure act of kindness, when no one was paying any attention, demonstrated true character and a genuine concern for someone in need. Mr. Porter, kudos to you. You are a gentleman and a true role model for fans of all ages.” Sports columnist Rob Mahoney wrote about this good deed, “This isn’t some bit of counter-programming on a player with a checkered reputation, as every indication suggests that Porter is a good egg. But it’s heartening nonetheless to see a 20-year-old millionaire stopping, if only for a moment, to help out a hungry man with his lunch. Good on you, Otto, for a thoughtful act done for its own sake.”

  1. The Mystery Man at Miller Park had a Secret Backup Plan

On 4 August 2013, Sarah Kooiman and her husband and three youngest boys attended the Milwaukee Brewers home game at Miller Park. Her son Isaiah was old enough to want a Milwaukee Brewers baseball. In Section 113, Row 17, Seat 22, and sitting next to the Kooiman family was a young man whose name Ms. Kooiman did not get. Ms. Kooiman wrote, “You couldn’t have been older than 24 or 25 and you were clearly at the ballpark yesterday to spend some time with the lovely young woman you had your arm around. Still, you made it a point to chat with Isaiah and encourage him to try to catch a foul ball and even took it upon yourself to race him down to the Brewers dugout three times in the middle of innings in the hope of getting a game ball tossed his way. You promised my son, ‘We will get you a ball, kiddo.’ (For the record, Daddy also brought Isaiah down there and struck out as well.)” Despite multiple attempts to get a Milwaukee Brewers baseball, Isaiah’s father and the young man failed. Isaiah was disappointed. But then, Ms. Kooiman wrote, this happened: “That’s when you knelt down and gave him a Milwaukee Brewers baseball. His eyes lit up, he took it from you slowly and you told him, ‘Hey, I promised you a ball.’ I’m not sure when you got that ball. Maybe it was a side thought on a run up to the concession stands for a beer or soft pretzel. Perhaps you left your seat and went to the stores specifically to get Isaiah a ball. All I know is that you still tried like crazy to get him a game ball, knowing that you had a secret backup plan in place to make my son, a complete stranger to you, feel like a million bucks.”

  1. Anonymous Good-Deed Doer

On 1 September 2013 at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, the Diamondbacks played the San Francisco Giants. Diamondback outfielder Gerardo Parra tossed a game into the right-field stands. Two boys were waiting to catch the ball, and the older boy with long arms caught it, disappointing the younger boy with short arms. Fortunately, a third boy witnessed the younger boy’s disappointment, and he gave the younger boy a shiny souvenir baseball — the souvenir baseballs are not inexpensive. Broadcasters witnessed the good deed, put it on the air, and made sure that the third boy got a game ball. (The third boy also respectful handshakes from fathers in the stands watching the game — and the good deed.)

  1. “I was Shocked Because He has been Wanting that Forever, and Then for Him — It’s Something Valuable — to be Okay with Giving It Up, To Make Someone Else Happy, You Know, So that was a Really Proud Moment. I was in Tears”

Lots of boys who are football fans want to get the autograph of Justin James “J.J.” Watt, defensive end of the NFL Houston Texans. In early August, 2013, Kanye Ortiz, the nine-year-old quarterback for the South Houston Wildcats who jokes that he likes football because in games you can “hit someone without getting in trouble,” got J.J.’s autograph following a Houston Texans open practice. Kanye said, “We were waiting forever to get his autograph, and then he finally came around, and I was like, ‘Yes!’” Unfortunately, another young fan did not get J.J.’s autograph: 15-year-old Zuriel Sanchez, who is in a wheelchair because he suffers from spina bifida. Kanye said, “Mom, I want to give this to the boy in the wheelchair.” His mother, Cynthia Pina Ortiz, took a photograph as Kanye gave his precious football away. Ms. Ortiz said, “You know, I was shocked because he has been wanting that forever, and then for him — it’s something valuable — to be okay with giving it up, to make someone else happy, you know, so that was a really proud moment. I was in tears.” She added, “To me, it was a really proud moment as a mother, to see my son doing that from the bottom of his heart. And I didn’t have anything to do with it. He just did it.” Zuriel, who has placed the football in a display case, said, “You know, when I was going home, Kanye came up to me and told me he wanted to give me his football, and I felt excited because no one had ever, like, done that to me.” Zuriel’s sister, Andrea Sanchez, said, “It’s gonna be special to him. Every time someone sees that ball, they’re going to ask him. It’s always gonna be that story behind it until he grows older.” Kanye said, “If you do something nice for someone, it will help you later on, and it will help you later on in life.” He added that “if you be nice and generous, God will bless you for that.”


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