Those who’ve gone through my Gray Area Thinking ® human inclusivity training will recall that a key teaching point is “stopping for another human can itself be an act of compassion.”

This point came true yet again in June, when a Sacramento U.S. postal carrier, Ivan Crisostomo, rescued sixteen-year-old Crystal Allen as he was walking his route. Upon hearing someone “desperately crying” from behind a tree, Ivan stopped to investigate. He found Crystal, who said, “They were putting things in me [pointing to her arm]. They are coming to get me.”

What Ivan would soon learn was that Crystal was a survivor of sex trafficking who had just jumped out of a moving car containing her captors. She had grabbed one of their cell phones on the way out of the car and was attempting to call her mother. Ivan helped with that call and then called 911. As they waited for law enforcement, Ivan kept Crystal in his postal van for protection, telling her, “Don’t worry, I’m here for you.” Once police arrived, Crystal was taken to a hospital. She had been missing for three months, during which she was “drugged, tortured and abused” by her captors.

As Crystal thanked Ivan following the start of her recovery, she said, “Ivan himself is a hero for saving me, even though he doesn’t think it.”

Ivan’s response: “ We, as mailmans (sic), we have a duty. But as human beings, knowing the people, we have a kind of different responsibility … with our neighbors, the people that we serve. The way I see her she has a wonderful future ahead. She’s doing so well, I’m happy. I’m really happy.”

It's so very true that we each have a “kind of different responsibility” to each other—one that necessitates paying attention and acting with compassion and kindness. How this story reminds us of that!

One more thing: as you watch this video of Ivan being interviewed, you might note that Ivan appears to be an immigrant. Assuming I’m correct, this story also reminds us about the goodness of humans regardless of where they were born. (See also this story for more details about Ivan’s rescue of Crystal.)