Bart Starr, the police, and genuine kindness

Bart Starr is quoted as teaching, “You can tell the true measure of a man by how he treats someone who can do nothing for him.”

Just a couple of days ago, I had parked illegally outside a friend’s house in Whitefish Bay. It was unintended error on my part, only brought to my attention when my friend’s doorbell rang. I found a uniformed police officer standing on the doorstep. He asked if that was my car across the street. When I replied that it was, he offered to have me re-park it legally rather than ticket me.

I have no idea how many doors he knocked on to find the owner of the car, but two things were clear:

1) He is keeping alive the legacy of Bart Starr, treating me with genuine kindness when he gets nothing out of it.

2) He serves as a poignant reminder that law enforcement officers’ primary role isn’t to punish those of us who break the laws but rather to help us live responsibly within them.

So, thank you the Whitefish Bay police offer who went out of his way to show me such kindness. I am deeply grateful!