During World War II, a Jewish woman was riding a city bus home from work when SS storm troopers suddenly stopped the coach and began examining the identification papers of passengers. Most were annoyed, but a few were terrified. Jews were being told to leave the bus and get into a truck around the corner.
The woman watched from her seat in the rear as the soldiers systematically worked their way down the aisle. She began to tremble, tears streaming down her face. When the man next to her noticed that she was crying, he politely asked why.
“I don’t have the papers you have. I am a Jew. They’re going to take me.”
The man exploded in disgust. He began to curse and scream at her. “You stupid bitch,” he roared. “I can’t stand being near you!”
The SS men asked what all the yelling was about.
“Damn her,” the man shouted angrily. “My wife has forgotten her papers again! I’m so fed up. She always does this!”
The soldiers laughed and moved on.
There are times when a task that only you can do finds you. It is at that moment you have to fulfill part of your destiny, to be who it is you were truly meant to be. Vibrant people know that such moments arise at unexpected times and in unfamiliar places. They are ready and willing enough to respond to moments of self-sacrifice, even risk. They know that all of us are in this thing called life together, and the actions of one can impact the lives of many. It often all funnels down to the power of seemingly trivial acts.