In “Ingredients of Outliers,” I share many stories about the people that I’ve encountered in my life that I believe possess characteristics of an outlier. I list off 16 different characteristics, that when combined, can turn an ordinary person into and extraordinary one. Two of these invaluable characteristics are the abilities to be humble and go above-and-beyond in everything you do. Just recently, I ran across an incredible story about a man who displayed these two traits, and ended up saving two lives.
Darrian Crutcher is a Detroit mailman. He travels the same exact route every day and, as a plus, gets to know a lot of the neighborhoods and their residents quite well. Last Tuesday, October 24, Darrian was traveling his mail route, just as he would any other day, when he turned the corner and saw that one of the houses’ second floor was on fire. He spotted the homeowner’s child outside in the yard and realized she was still inside. Without thinking twice, he grabbed the garden hose lying outside the house and ran inside to battle the flames, keeping them in under control while waiting for firefighters to arrive. After assuring that firefighters were taking care of it, Darrian went right back to his route, as if nothing had happen.
In a later interview with WJBK-TV, Darrian said, “I wouldn’t say a hero. It was a blessing for me to be at that spot at that particular time.”
According to Fox 2 Detroit, David Weems of the Detroit Fire Department asked Darrian whether he had stopped to think, “Why am I doing this? This isn’t my job.”
Crutcher responded: “No I didn’t think that. I just seen a lady in the house and a young kid outside. I just go in and do it. I know if I … if somebody seen me like that I wish they would do me like that, too.”
Everyone around him believed he was a hero, but Darrian wouldn’t hear it. To him, there wasn’t a question of whether or not he would try to save the homeowner, the younger child and the house from the flames. He didn’t think of it as going beyond his job description, but as instinct. For these reasons, Darrian is an outlier.