Just One Step
Okay, I know it sounds like I watch a lot of tv. Maybe I do. (I love that about me!)
But who else saw Oprah’s Martin Luther King special this week?
They interviewed Los Angeles school bus driver, Tanya, who covered a rough part of town. She talked about how she could see these inner city kids struggling, getting suspended and kicked out of school. Her heart went out to them.
And she started talking to them. She smiled at them; learned their names, gave them hugs when needed. Just little things to give them encouragement.
As her relationship with these kids grew, she asked to see their report cards. Tanya said she was shocked to see that most of them were failing. She asked how it was they could be failing when she drove them to school every day!
With a little encouragement, and I’m sure having someone who genuinely cared and expected something new from them, 54 of her students’ grades improved within five weeks.
As a reward, she drove them on a field trip to a marine biology cruise just outside the city. They LOVED it! She said some of the students pulled her aside and said they didn’t realize this world existed outside of their lives. That’s when she was inspired to take yet another step.
Tanya plunked down every dime of credit she had to buy her own bus to take even more teens outside their crime-ridden neighborhoods. Just to encourage them to learn and dream more than their current lives allowed. This little step here, another step there, eventually turned into a big thing, where other bus driver volunteers joined her to start an organization that does this all over America.
I retell this story here because I love how it started. Small.
She took a step here, a step there, in the direction her heart led her. She didn’t just sit on her bus fuming about how something more needed to be done for these kids, or dreaming about how if only she had a big foundation she could somehow help them. She asked how they were doing. She learned their names. She gave them hugs. She cared. They responded. It grew.
I love this story because of how simple she made it look. How simple IT IS. And how the Universe helps us get where we want by just taking a little step in the direction that feels good.
What step are you taking today?