I’ve decided today to talk about kindness. Or perhaps I should call it the forgotten virtue. I saw a couple of incidents today that sort of made me sit up and take notice. The first incident was of an older lady coming out of a shop and she dropped her purse as it caught on something just inside the door, the boys that were right behind her laughed and kicked it out into the middle of the parking lot then ran out after it and kicked it again until almost everything had come spilling out, after the first time, I got out of my car and was going after it and when they kicked it the second time, I yelled at them and they took off. I went to help the lady pick up her things and saw that she was crying, so I stuck around and helped to make sure that we found everything that had come flying out. I asked her if she was okay and she shook her head burst into tears again and said “Why would they do that, don’t they have respect for anyone anymore” I didn’t know how to answer her because my immediate thought was if their parents had taught them any kind of manners at all then this wouldn’t have happened, but then I thought again and realized that the parents may very well have tried but there is something far stronger than parent’s lessons, it is called peer pressure. It may very well be that the second boy didn’t want to have anything to do with hurting this woman, but because the first one did, he just went along. I asked her if she needed a ride home and when she nodded, I gave her a lift.
The second incident happened when I had come back from dropping her off and was inside the store in the line up to pay for my groceries. This gentleman just ahead of me was grabbing his bags and his wallet fell, a twenty dollar bill popped out and he didn’t notice as he picked up his wallet. The little girl in the line next to us, hurriedly picked it up and ran after the man, she grabbed his pants to get his attention and when he looked down she held up the twenty dollar bill and told him that he had dropped it. He was very nice, said thank you and then reached into his pants and pulled out a toonie (for those of you who do not live in Canada that is a two dollar coin) and handed it to her and told her to buy herself a chocolate bar. She looked up at him and said “No thank you, you shouldn’t get paid for doing something nice” and ran back to her Mum, waving at him as she ran. I was in tears, how sweet of that little girl, obviously she had learned a thing or two from her parents, but as I stood there sniffing and trying to surreptiously wipe my eyes, I wondered how long it would be, before she became infected with the same careless attitude as the two boys had had. There was probably only ten years between them but the difference was incredible.
I have thought about this all day and I still wonder when did it all change, when did it become more important to be liked by your friends than to do the right thing. In our society today we live much longer than the average person did say a hundred years ago, is that what happened we started to live longer and care less. I know some of you will think that I am just some old fogey who doesn’t understand today’s kids, but I have two kids of my own, both of them adults now, but even when they were teenagers I don’t believe they would have stood by for that.
Am I just kidding myself, would my kids have been exactly like those two boys who gave no thought to what they were doing to that poor woman? I can only hope that was not the case, of course I will never know, but I can hope that they were kinder than that.
I guess that’s all for today, please take care and be kind to someone you never know what you might start if you do.
I’ll see you on Friday.