Julio Diaz is s social worker who lives in New York City and every night at the end of his hour-long subway commute to the Bronx. Julio stops for dinner at his favorite diner.
One night in February 2008 , as Julio stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn. He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached him and pulled out a knife. The boy ask Julio for his money and Julio handed over his wallet.
As the teen began to walk away, Julio told him, “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 teen look at Julio with a puzzled look on his face than said to Julio, “Why are you doing this?’”
Julio replied: “If you’re willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me … hey, you’re more than welcome.
Julio later told reports: “You know, I just felt maybe he really needs help.” He and the teen went into the diner and sat in a booth together. During dinner the manager, dishwashers and waiters all stop by to say hi to Julio and his teenage dinner guest.
The teen said to Julio, “You know everybody here. Do you own this place?”
Julio replied, “No, I just eat here a lot.” The teen said, “But you’re even nice to the dishwasher.”
Julio said, “Well, haven’t you been taught you should be nice to everybody?”
“Yea, but I didn’t think people actually behaved that way,” the teen said.
Julio asked the teen what he wanted out of life? The boy couldn’t answer and his face got very sad face.
When the bill arrived, Julio told the teen, “Look, I guess you’re going to have to pay for this bill ’cause you have my money and I can’t pay for this. So if you give me my wallet back, I’ll gladly treat you.”
The teen didn’t even think about it and he returned the wallet. Julio than give the boy $20, Julio also asked the teen’s for the knife and he did give his knife to Julio.
After the evening was over Julio told his mother what happened and she said, “You’re the type of kid that if someone asked you for the time, you gave them your watch.”
Julio Diaz said “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.”
Do you think this one dinner could change the boy’s life? What comment do you have about what Julio Diaz did? Would you do the same?
Is this one man’s Imperfect Action to change the world?