So, I have this friend. She’s pretty great, and as of Wednesday, January 26, 2011 — she has won the Stephanie Levan Gold Star of the Week. Besides being hysterically funny and fantastically awesome — she’s also full of mercy and grace, and thus has been given this prestigious award.
Let’s dig into her story of honor.
Imagine yourself in a small mid-western town in late January. It’s a cold, Wednesday morning and you’ve been called in to be a substitute teacher. After rushing around in a frenzy to get ready, you bundle up and head out to your car. Since you live on a dead-end street — the fact that a school bus is stopped, full of kids …. it’s just a bit out of place.
The clacky, old window drops. A harsh female voice cries out, “He hit you!”
Confused, you walk towards the car and hear the bus door open. Then the shuffling of feet. An older gentleman walks towards you, and explains that he hit your car with the bus. He frantically apologizes and shows you the damage.
What do you do?? You’re already rushing out the door, it’s cold, it’s dreary, it’s winter, it’s the early morning — and now your car has been hit by a school bus. What’s your reaction?? Do you yell? Become red in the face? Cry?
I might have done any or all of those.
But Kristi McGill? Not her. You know what she did?
She smiled. She acknowledged the damage, and listened to the explanation — and then she smiled and assured the driver that all would be okay. While waiting for the police to show up and file the report, she headed inside to call the school and let them know she would be a little late. Realizing that this gave her a little more time — she took advantage and made a pot of coffee.
While the average person might have reacted with anger and harsh emotion — Ms. McGill offered mercy and grace. When it would have been easily justified to respond with blame, Kristi offered a joke and a smile.
And so, it is with great pleasure and honor that I present the Stephanie Levan Gold Star of the Week Award to Ms. Kristi McGill. A light in a world full of darkness, and an inspiration to me and, hopefully, the world. Sometimes love and grace start with one act, with one person and transforms into something beautiful. Perhaps this is one of those times.
Congratulations, Ms. Kristi McGill. You’re my hero.