We Salute Satchel Smith

When Satchel Smith–a 21 year-old college student–arrived for his usual shift at the Homewood Suites in Beaumont, Texas, he had no way of knowing that he would be the hotel’s only employee for the next 32 hours.

Shortly after he arrived for work, Tropical Storm Imelda flooded the roads outside the hotel. None of Smith’s co-workers could get in, which left Smith to serve the needs of 90 stranded passengers on his own.

“He has manned the phones, answered each of our questions, ensured that we have had a hot cup of coffee or tea, and helped serve us a hot breakfast. He has handled this situation with grace, kindness, and a beautiful smile on his face.”

Angela Chandler, Hotel Guest

One of the key concepts of Ruism is called de. In short, it refers to virtue that inspires others to virtuous as well. In a heartwarming example of de in action, Smith’s service inspired the guests at his hotel to pitch in, too. It didn’t take long for the hotel’s guests to help Smith with cooking and serving meals. Eventually, Smith and some of the guests even braved the floodwaters to bring food and water to stranded motorists on the highway.

Read more at CNN.

About the Author

Ben Butina, Ph.D.
Ben is the President and co-founder of the Ruist Association of America, Inc. and Friends from Afar, an English-speaking Ruist discussion group on Facebook. He's also the creator of Stone Chimes, a modern English adaptation of the Analects of Confucius.