Why A Man Taking Off His Shoes For Another Is Inspiring Us To 'Be The Change'

" [...] quiet compassion appears without warning."

During a ride on the Chicago Transit Authority train Friday night, one woman named Jessica Bell witnessed an act of kindness she felt compelled to share

In a post on the Love What Matters Instagram account, Bell recounted her trip, sitting on the train with a homeless man seated across from her. 

"He's older, weathered, minding his own business. His feet are so swollen, he's wearing the tattered gym shoes he has with the back folded down; like slip-ons. 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 wrote. 

"There's another man on the other side of the doors; younger, carrying a satchel and a suitcase, also minding his own business. He's wearing a pair of big black snow boots. They look new; they look expensive; they're built for a Chicago winter." 

The second man's name is Maurice Anderson, NBC 5 Chicago reported, and he was on his way to spend the weekend with his daughter in Chicago. 

Bell then explained that quietly and quickly, Anderson took off his boots and handed them to the older man in need. He also handed him a pair of socks from his suitcase. 

"[Anderson] puts on a spare pair of shoes from the suitcase. These shoes are nice too, but not as nice as the boots. They would have fit the old man just as well, but they were not what this old man needed." 

With that, Anderson suggested to the older man that he change into the new socks.

"Those of us who are close enough to see and hear the exchange are floored. The shoes off his feet," Bell wrote. "I love that in a time and place where hate and apathy are rampant, quiet compassion appears without warning."

Bell concluded her note saying that she prays that others are compelled to follow in Anderson's footsteps and "allow empathy to invoke action." 

"I pray that we never forget that we have always had the power to be a blessing. I'm inspired to continue to try to 'be the change' and I pray you are too." 


As for Anderson, he told NBC 5 that he purchased those shoes just a few weeks ago. "But when I saw [the older man], it bothered me that he was out like that and no one had even lifted a finger to say, 'Here man, go get yourself a pair of boots' or whatever."

"I would do it all again if I had to," he said.

People have since taken to Bell's Instagram post to share their praise:

"Ahhh! This is the good news touching lives! Thank you for sharing!" one person wrote.

"The world will change, just do what you can!" another added. 

You can check out more in the post above. 

Cover image via  Africa Studio I Shutterstock


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