I was talking to a true adam chashuv, a leading talmid chacham, and his response to the case of the bus monitor who was verbally abused by some young students truly amazed me and taught me -- leading to me feeling this need to mention it on the blog.
First, for those of you who do not know about this case, you should take a look at
http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/22/emotional-widespread-reaction-to-harassment-of-68-year-old-bus-monitor/?iref=allsearch I would, though, think that most of those who read this blog have already heard the story and have come up with their own response or rather responses to the multitude of details. What hit me about this adam chashuv's response, though, was not its extensiveness but rather its focus. He was not commenting on everything that occurred but one particular fact. To be honest, he did not see any of the videos connected to this story and, I know, that if he would have saw them, he would have been even more furious at the behaviour of the kids -- and perhaps may have commented more on this problem. (Again, to be honest, knowing him, he most likely would have stopped watching almost immediately because he would have been so disgusted.) He heard about what happened over the radio -- and his focus, what marveled him was the amount of money that was raised for the bus monitor. He saw that as exceptional -- and indication of a force for good in the world -- that someone should come up with this idea and that so many people should respond.
Of course, he still saw the behaviour of the children as greatly problematic -- and something that would not have occurred years ago as there is a belittling of authority -- but his focus was still on the good. I told him that for me this was a true lesson in dan l'kaf zchut.
Rabbi Ben Hecht