CAN YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

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During a recent traveling adventure, as I was making my way to the gate to catch my flight I had the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.

At the Atlanta Airport there is a train system that transports you to each gate and to the other terminal areas. The train appears every two minutes or so. When the door is about to close there is a recorded message announcement that warns you to step away from the doors and the doors close.

So there we were, all finding a rail or overhead strap to hold unto as the train was about to leave that particular location. Suddenly a Near Eastern family of four; a mother and three children, a young girl, a boy and a baby in a stroller approached the train. As they were about to get on, the announcement came on warning the passengers to step away from the doors. The young boy along with his mother and baby sibling were able to move back. But the young girl was caught on the train! As we left this stop I saw the look of terror in the mother’s eyes. It is a look I will always remember. It reminded me of a scene from a movie or news broadcast because the look certainly conveyed that the mother felt she would never see her daughter again.

I was standing at the rear of the train behind several rows of people in front of me. As we approached the next stop and the recorded message announced the train was about to stop, I excused myself and made my way to the front where this young girl was standing, shaking with fear. I took her hand and told her I would help her find her mother. The others on the train asked me if I were going to get off. I was surprised that the question was even asked, someone needed to offer their assistance to this child.

The girl’s name is Nadatolia and she is nine years old. I placed my hand on her shoulder to offer her comfort. She was trembling. We talked and stood there waiting for the next train to arrive. As her mother and siblings got off the train they ran to Nadatolia and hugged her. We all caught this train and proceeded to our respective destinations. The mother kept looking at me, thanking me for helping her daughter. She shed huge tears of relief as she embraced her baby! I was thankful to have helped this family and I simply smiled at the mother and said you are welcome. As they got off the train I reminded Nadatolia to keep up with her family. She smiled and they got off the train together.

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