One man's willingness to offer kindness to a struggling stranger was a simple act of kindness -- yet the impact extended far beyond what he could have imagined.
As much as we might say that we'd be willing to put our lives on pause to help out someone who is struggling, far fewer of us would likely be willing to act when the time arose. This kind man on the city transit is one of them -- and his simple yet incredibly kind act towards a homeless passenger will have you wiping your eyes.
Jessica Bell was on the CTA Red Line in Chicago returning home from work when she mindlessly sunk into a seat across from a man who appeared to be disheveled, tired, and homeless. When she turned her attention to his feet, she could hardly believe just how bad of a state they were in -- and she quickly realized how desperately he needed help.
Although the ground outside was coated in snow, the poor man hardly had adequate footwear for a day of good weather. As much as Bell tried, she couldn't take her eyes off of his shoes. "His feet are so swollen he's wearing the tattered gym shoes he has with the back folded down, like slip-ons," she sadly explained. And the situation only seemed to get graver.
Bell soon noticed that his feet weren't just covered in the wet remains of snow -- they were also bloody from the conditions outside. "I don't know how many pairs of socks he's wearing in an attempt to keep his feet warm, but there is blood seeping through," she described. Bell could hardly believe what she was seeing -- but it wasn't long before the situation took a turn for the better.
As much as Bell wanted to help, there wasn't much she could do at the moment -- but luckily, someone else saw an opportunity to help. Maurice Anderson was in Chicago to visit his daughter for a few days, taking the train after his flight, when he stumbled upon the sorry scene that Bell was quietly documenting. But unlike those who chose to look away, Anderson quickly acted, transforming the homeless man's life in a matter of seconds.
Anderson sat down nearby the scene, eyeballed the man for a couple of minutes, and gently asked the gentleman what size shoe that he wore. He responded that he wore a size 12: the exact same size as Anderson. Though the question came out of nowhere, Anderson wasn't just making friendly conversation -- he was preparing to help the man that everyone else was turning their backs to.