Daily Smiles

The bus was full, people on their way to work, or school. Most faces were grim and stared forward as I made my way down the aisle, looking for a seat. It was a Monday, people lost in their own worlds, automatons on auto-pilot, going through the necessary routine we call life.

One person looked at me, and smiled, and said a big Hello! He  went out of his way to make room on his seat, and motioned for me to sit. He talked all the way to our destination, and laughed, and was so full of life I couldn’t help but be inspired by, and effected by his charisma. His stop came first, and he grabbed his bags, and gave me a hug, and wished me well. He said goodbye to the people who ignored him as he walked out of the bus, and my life.

Some of those people returned his gesture with a self conscious smile, or a nod, but most ignored him. He didn’t notice, just continued to live, and love, and enjoy every moment. He made me wonder which of us was handicapped. I still wonder.

Children like him are wasting away in orphanages all over Eastern Europe. These little miracles have more to offer humanity than we will ever know. By helping them, we help us all. I was forever changed by a kind little man with Down’s, on a bus on his way to work, who made me stop and think about what I was missing. That was thirty years ago, and his memory lives with me every moment of every day, especially when I need to be reminded to live in the moment, and embrace things and people I would otherwise miss.

I couldn’t begin to tell the story as well as people who are blessed with a person with Down’s Syndrome in their lives, so I won’t try.

Please visit these links, and send a little donation their way if you can.



Thank you.


  • David says:

    Mike thank you for this wonderful story today. You made me remember why I love EMS and doing the job we do to help people like that. Thank you David Booth

  • Ken says:

    Lt. Morse,

    As a 35 y.o. man who is starting a new career late in life (currently a green PRN EMT-IV, Vol. FF and about to start nursing school), I just want to tell you that I look forward to every new post that you write. I have a family to support, and honestly make more money when I’m not working as an EMT than when I am. But, I am not doing what I do just for the money. When you write, you share a piece of who you are with us, and for that I am grateful. Mostly because it’s obvious that who you are is the type of man that makes the world a better place and gives vision to those of us that have CHOSEN this life.

    Thank you for your candidness and bearing your heart on these pages and in the pages of your book. I couldn’t put it down and finished it in 2 days. I do hope that if you decide to take the 20 year retirement (and I wouldn’t blame you a bit for it) that you will consider teaching EMS as your new endeavor. These young recruits need men like you!



    • Michael Morse says:

      Ken, that was a shot in the arm when I needed it most! Crazy day, non-stop calls, no emergencies to keep the blood flowing just an endless barrage of needy people. It gets demoralizing, until you see beyond the obvious, which is how I manage. Thank you for commenting and the compliments, and i wish you well in your new career(s) I joined the fire department in 1991 but didn’t transfer to the EMS full time division until 2001, when I was 39. 35 is not late in life, I hope! Good luck with everything and don’t be a stranger.

  • Jackie Foster says:

    Mr. Morse,

    Hello! My name is Jackie and I write for a website that features colleges and careers. I came across your blog while researching emergency paramedic careers and thought you would be a great candidate for a featured Q&A interveiw. We could talk by phone or email, whatever you prefer, but I live in Texas so we may have to do some time zone wrangling. If you’re interested, shoot me an email at jfoster@collegedegrees.com. The interview should only take about 10 minutes of your time.

    Jackie Foster

  • Michael Morse says:

    Sounds good, Jackie, I’ll try to send an e-mail in a little bit.

  • Thank you for this story! I used to work with people with MR/ DD and am constantly disappointed with how I see others, including our coworkers treat people with a disability of any kind. Thank you for your positive attitude to those who are just a little different from us, and make each day brighter for those who know them 🙂

    • Michael Morse says:

      I truly enjoy working with people with disabilities. Makes it easier when it’s real! Thanks for reading.

  • Anna says:

    My husband and I adopted two children from Eastern Europe, both have Down syndrome. Our youngest daughter weighed 16 lbs at the age of 7 when we brought her home last November, adopted from a mental institution.

    They are wonderful kids. We are blessed. Thanks for adding those links. Both of our kids were listed on Reeces Rainbow.

    Love your blog. I am starting my EMT-B classes in April. Hopefully 41 is not to old to start!

  • Michael Morse says:

    Good luck with the EMT Anna, 41? Just a kid ;). 16 pounds at 7 years old, that is just not right. Best wishes to you and your family!

  • sarah archer says:

    Thank you so much for this posting, I used to work with adults with learning difficulties (the latest pc name) and still feel sad remembering a special lady with downn who we lost at a young age.
    I now work in retail and am blessed with a little lady who warms my heart when she comes into the shop.
    How we forget in our ever speedy life that sometimes, even if it takes time, (and I don’t apologise for taking time to serve this little angel)that with the pallaver of our stressfull lives, sometimes we should step back, take a breath, and just maybe count our blessings.
    Any maybe remember that life is good especially when seen through innocent eyes.
    I hope that makes sence.
    best wishes.

  • Michael Morse says:

    Perfect sense. Thank you.

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