While the wry saying “no good deed goes unpunished” sometimes rings true, in this time of instantaneous posting capabilities, plenty of people are sharing the good in the simple things around them.
There’s definitely a movement to combat the harsh realities of life and ugly depictions of human behavior with moments of kindness, and this is one of those simple, beautiful moments — but it began with heartbreak.
Police Sgt. Wytasha “Wyt” Carter was shot and killed on Jan. 14, at 2:00 a.m. outside a club in Birmingham, Alabama. The 44-year-old was transported to the hospital along with another officer who’d been critically injured.
The two had been responding to a tip about some men trying to break into cars. When they found and approached the suspects, they were attacked.
“The officers approached one suspect and patted him down where they found what they believed to be a weapon,” said Patrick Smith, the police chief, according to AL.com. “They asked him about it, he armed himself and fired upon our officers.”
Carter’s funeral was held on Jan. 19, bringing together the community as they prepared to say goodbye to the fallen officer.
“Though today I know is heavy and hearts are sad, you can lift your heads because he did not die in vain. He died doing what he loved, protecting others,’’ said Reverend C. Michael Washington, according to AL.com. “I consider Wyt a hero. He died trying to protect the community.”
“Wytasha was a gift from God. He owned him and he came back to get what belonged to him,’’ he continued. “As we look at the life of Wytasha, we see not only was he prepared to live, but he was also prepared to die.”
It was during the procession that passed through the city, though, that a small act of human kindness was captured. A sheriff’s deputy, Tiffany Dial, stood roadside and saluted even as the rain poured down on her.
Seeing her standing there, a complete stranger walked up to her and covered her with his umbrella, maintaining his position as the procession passed, standing with her for over half an hour.
At first, the sheriff was so wrapped up in the events that she didn’t realize he was there, shielding her. “I didn’t know he was there,” she told NBC 15. “My peripheral vision was cut off with my hat, so I didn’t know anything was there. I was in my moment.”
“It meant a lot in ways that you really can’t put into words,” Dial said. “It wasn’t just about keeping the rain off of me for that little bit. It meant a lot more than that.”
For the man, who turned out to be Deputy District Attorney Shawn Allen, the choice was straightforward.
“I had an umbrella and she didn’t, and I’d like to think that had she been a deputy saluting, or had she been just a regular person that was standing there paying her respects like I was, that I would have shared the umbrella either way,” he told Yahoo Lifestyle.
“And I imagine that if I had not done it,” he added, “that probably somebody else may have come up minutes after that and very well may have done the same thing.”
“I just appreciate what she does for a living, and I appreciate what she was doing on that day, and I just was happy to help somebody who helps people.”
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