While at Peet's Coffee recently, a man I didn't recognize came up to me out of the blue and said "I remember you! You are the guy that snatched a baby off the roof of a car!"
About 7-8 years ago, on another day at Peet's, I was in the process of putting a little sugar in my coffee when I heard a group of people suddenly yell, "Oh No!" Curious, I looked out the window just in time to see a young mother beginning to back out of her parking space into the street—with her baby still in the car seat on the roof of the car!
There were a lot of people outside watching this happen, but no one moved to do anything. Without thinking, bad knees and all, I raced outside to grab the car seat off the roof ( I don't think I have ever run that fast before or since). The woman looked at me in horror to see me with her baby's car seat in my hands. When I looked down into the car seat all I could see were two little feet sticking out of a blanket, the baby blissfully unaware of any danger.
The mother stopped the car, got out, took the car seat out of my hands, strapped it in the car and took off without saying a word. I don't think she was ungrateful. I think she was choked with fear over what could have happened and mortified by the thought that she had forgotten her baby on the roof of her car. It didn't help that her nearly disastrous mistake had been witnessed by 15-20 people.
Looking back, it was striking that so many people who were a lot closer than I was, failed to act. I think most of them were just caught off guard.
There are so many opportunities in front of us every day to do good. When the time comes and your opportunity is in front of you, will you ACT? You never know how or when your actions might avert disaster or, at the very least, leave a lasting impression.