“If you’re going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm…”
This is the amazing story of social worker, Julio Diaz, who was on his way home one evening. His normal routine was to get off the train one stop early, to visit his local diner.
The station platform was empty, but as he was walking towards the stairs something dramatic and unexpected happened.
Suddenly a young teenager came up to Julio, pulled a knife and demanded money.
Julio just handed over his wallet, saying: “Here you go”.
But as the teenager turned to go, Julio said: “Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you’re going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.”
The story unfolds with Julio offering to take the teenager to the diner to eat with him. He explains: “If you’re willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money… I figure, you know, if you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right. It’s as simple as it gets in this complicated world.”
When they have finished eating, Julio asks for his wallet back in order to pay for the meal. He then offers to give the teenager $20 in exchange for one thing… His knife.
Listen to Julio tell his story:
Zen Moments Bookstore – Recommended Reading:
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
by Marshall B. Rosenberg
Julio Diaz in the article above demonstrated exceptional communication skills. In Nonviolent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg shows how such skills can be learned in a systematic way, illustrated by many examples. In essence:
- I learn to honestly express how I am, without blaming or criticizing
- I also empathically receive how you are, without hearing blame or criticism
Summary from the book: “Nonviolent Communication (NVC) helps us connect with ourselves and each other in a way that allows our natural compassion to flourish. It guides us to re-frame the way we express ourselves and listen to others by focusing our consciousness on four areas: what we are observing, feeling, and needing and what we are requesting to enrich our lives.
NVC fosters deep listening, respect, and empathy and engenders a mutual desire to give from the heart. Some people use NVC to respond compassionately to themselves, some to create greater depth in their personal relationships, and still others to build effective relationships at work or in the political arena. World-wide, NVC is used to mediate disputes and conflicts at all levels.”
“ how the kindness of strangers got me to be more helpful to people…”
“So a family that is undoubtedly poorer than you, me, and just about everyone else on that stretch of road, working on a seasonal basis where time is money, took an hour or two out of their day to help some strange dude on the side of the road when people in tow trucks were just passing me by. Wow…”