I don't consider myself to be the frisco, roughneck type. At the same time, I don't particularly wear my emotions on my sleeves. But I heard a story on the news yesterday that literally moved me to tears.
According to the story, New York resident Wesley Autrey showed the world what it truly means to be a hero. While with his two daughters in a New York subway, Autrey noticed a man fall on the tracks after suffering from a seizure. After handing his daughters off to the closest person around, Autrey then did the unimaginable: he jumped down to retrieve the man. This act would not have been as heroric except for two things: (1) the tracks are electrically charged and (2) there was a train coming. Nevertheless, Autrey instinctly jumped on the tracks and covered the convulsing man as the train passed over them.
The train missed Autrey's head by inches.
Both men emerged from the incident unscathed. The man who initially fell only received minor bumps and bruises, but is in relatively good shape. Autrey indicated that he was OK as well.
Stories like this refresh my faith in people. We hear countless stories about greedy and corrupt politicians, spoiled celebrities, negligent parents, violent offenders, etc. But very seldomly do you hear stories of selflessness, valor, and heroism. I mean, this man risked his life (in front of his daughters, no less) to save a complete stranger because, as he puts it, "...it was the right thing to do." While others stood and watched (I probably would've only been an onlooker myself), this man flirted with danger for somebody else. Most of us won't make simple sacrifices for the people we call "friends"; let alone risk our lives for complete strangers.
Mr. Autrey is starting to become somewhat of a celebrity because of his deeds. He's been scheduled to be on a couple of talk shows, has been given donations from some celebs (reportedly, Donald Trump gave him $10,000 which -- to me -- is an insult considering that he's a billionaire), scholarships have been set up for his daughters, and they've received lifetime passes to Disney World. Let me just go on the record by saying that whatever good fortune this man gets for his deeds won't be enough.
His ultimate reward, I believe, will come later when God says to him "Well done, my good and faithful servant..."
Thank you, Mr. Autrey.