The Greater Good

Have you heard of the Trolley Man?

If you were in Australia, you’d know him.  His name is Michael Rogers, and during Friday’s Bourke Street terror attack he jumped in to aid police against a terrorist who’d already stabbed multiple people, one fatally.  His weapon of choice?  A shopping cart.

Michael Rogers is, at first glance, an average person trying to strike back against evil.  He is being hailed as a hero by most (although a handful are complaining that he interfered with an arrest attempt by police.)  In that way he is very similar to Roy Larner, the “Lion of London Bridge”, who drunkenly roared, “Fuck you, I’m Millwall!” and charged three knife-wielding jihadis during a terror attack in 2017.

Larner was an international hero, with a beer named after him and appreciations from all quarters.  At least he was until he had a video surface in which he’d gotten into a shouting match with anti-Brexit protesters who had reportedly insulted his dog.

That wasn’t the end of it.  A few weeks after the incident, Larner launched into an anti-Muslim tirade at his Parliament Members’ office.  From the Southwark News:

“He then spoke with a member of staff at the front door and said ‘Sadiq Khan shouldn’t even be in the country’ and called him ‘a pile of s***’.
“The staff member said ‘I’m a Muslim’.

“The defendant went on to say that ‘All Muslims are the same – scum’, he then referred to Muslims as being ‘pig-eating c****’.

He was brought up on hate speech charges, but was given leniency because of his experiences.  His most recent turn in the public eye was being brought up on charges for possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.

When asked about his actions at another time by Southwark News, Larner stated, “I’m not a perfect person but I did something good for once. I nearly lost my life because of it.”

Compare that against the comments of “trolley man”, who, being declared a hero and having more than $95,000 raised for him after it was discovered he was homeless, was also revealed as having a long history of crimes from burglary to drug possession:

“I just wanted to help and do something right for the first time in me life.”

The Age

Of course, the criminal side of him still noticed things…

During Friday night’s Bourke Street attack, Mr Rogers says a police officer lost his security glasses and a lanyard with a badge.

“I handed it straight to one of the officers. I could have kept that and done something with it. I wasn’t even thinking along that line,” Mr Rogers says.

The hero in an attack, whether it’s a person who smashes out a window to help others escape a firing rampage or a person defending police with a shopping cart, are people.  Most of them will have skeletons in their closet.  There were heroes in the Toronto shooting.  Heroes in the recent bar shooting.  Heroes in the school shootings.  The Sutherland Springs shooter was chased away from the church by a bystander with a gun.  Some of these people wind up being virtual paragons; most do not.  People looking for ideal heroes are encouraged to watch television or read comic books instead.

Michael Rogers is a hero, even if I wouldn’t necessarily trust him to watch my house while I was away for vacation.  Roy Larner is a hero, even if he might be a bit of a racist.  When they had the opportunity to defend others despite a significant risk to themselves, they did so without hesitation.  

It is a reminder of the value of forgiveness.  In this political climate, where imagined slights are taken as egregious wrongs and reconciliation is deemed a sin,we need these reminders.  We are stronger when we stand together with those who, despite their flaws, are willing to fight not for a political agenda but truly for the greater good.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.