Some events give me hope for the future and a sense that young people have growing social conscience. When I read this story on my Facebook stream yesterday, it had me smiling with wonder and delight about the ways in which one person can make a difference with quick thinking and courage. A ripple effect always takes place as a result. A 21 year old welder from Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania gave voice in support of someone unable to speak for himself at that moment and countless lives were changed. Remember his name, since I wouldn’t be surprised if his story goes viral. His name is Wade Bowley.
“Yesterday I witnessed 4 kids standing outside Sheetz making fun of this kid who was by himself because his shirt was dirty and had holes into it, normally I would say something to the kids but instead I walked up to the kid, took my shirt off and asked him to trade,…. He did even tho he looked confused…. I put his shirt on and walked up to the 4 kids and asked them if they liked my new shirt, they put there head down and walked away…. Almost in tears the kid said “thank your no one ever stood up for me before, why did you do that?” I replied with,” you were out numbered and God told me you needed someone on you side.”
A rapid stream of thoughts ran through my head: Where did this young man get the idea to do what he did? Was he raised with the idea that you stand up in the face of darkness and shine your light? Did he have any clue that this one act could touch so many people? I have been following the responses on his Facebook page and am heartened at what I read. I hope he is too. I’m sure his family is proud of him. I would be if he were my son. I wonder how the bullies felt and did they each grow a conscience? How about the one being bullied? Did he feel less alone and better able to hold his head high instead of becoming a statistic? I don’t know the numbers, but I am sure that suicide and acts of violence toward others are significant outcomes of bullying. Did the Divine Director call all of the players on stage at that moment in time to act out their assigned roles with all of us as the audience who are inspired by Wade now speaking up, standing up, being in solidarity with those in need of support? I would like to think so.
What Wade did was an example for us all. Bless you big time and may your kindness be returned to you 100-fold. Look out, your ‘invisible wings’ are showing.