Making A Difference

Here’s a happy story. A positive story. A nice story.
And I’m all for happy, positive, nice stories right now.

This story is from the Telegraph and is about a train dispatcher at St. Albans station in the UK. His name is James Allen, and despite the somewhat mundane job he has, he makes a difference in people’s lives by just being happy, positive… nice.

Very early on the morning of October 7, 2013, James Allen walked along Platform Three of St. Albans train station. For most of the commuters waiting, the day was not looking promising: it was Monday, it was cold, the sky was grey, and it was beginning to rain. Smiling graciously, he lifted his speaker and in a soft and quintessentially English voice, said:

“Hello, my name is James. It is lovely to see you all here this morning. I understand that Monday mornings are a difficult time for you all, but can I just say how happy I am to see you today. I truly mean that. I wouldn’t do this job if it wasn’t for all of you.”

Various nameless faces grinned at one another and after a few seconds some began to clap; soon most of the platform joined in.

See? Doesn’t take much, does it?


James’ backstory is fascinating: he was a butler, he was an alcoholic, he quotes from the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. Do go and read the article linked to above.
But it’s his philosophy and attitude which is really so refreshing. For him to be able to be able to make a difference – however small – in so many people’s lives is a wonderful thing.

The world needs more James Allens.

Leave a Reply