This reflection is from Michael Josephson's Character Counts website:
July 14, 2008
Benny: The Man on the Bus 575.2
This is a parable about leadership.
A teacher assigned her 12th graders an essay about a leader they admired. Most kids wrote about famous people, but one student turned in this:
Benny: The Man on the Bus
I’ve been taking a public bus to school for years. Most passengers go to work and never talk to anyone else.
About a year ago, an elderly man got on the bus and said loudly to the driver, “Good morning!” Most people looked up annoyed, and the bus driver just grunted.
The next day the man got on at the same stop and again said loudly, “Good morning!” to the driver.
On the fifth day, the driver greeted the man first with a cheerful “Good morning!” and Benny replied loudly, “My name’s Benny. What’s yours?” The driver said his name was Ralph.
That was the first time any of us had heard the driver’s name. Soon all the passengers began talking to each other and saying hello to Ralph and Benny.
After a month, Benny extended his cheerful greeting to the whole bus. Within a few days, his “Good morning!” was returned by a whole bunch of “Good mornings.” The entire bus seemed friendlier. If a leader is someone who makes something happen, Benny was our leader in friendliness.
A month ago, Benny didn’t get on the bus. Some of us thought he had died. No one knew what to do. The bus got quiet again.
So I started to act like Benny by saying “Good morning!” to everyone, and they cheered up again. I guess I’m now the leader.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.