Youth Treats Elder with Kindness

When my son was about 13 or 14, we were standing at the end of the freezer aisle discussing what treats we wanted to buy that week–would it be ice cream? Pizza? Eggrolls? We both paused when we saw an older woman walk to the other end of the freezer aisle. We glanced at each other and I knew we were thinking the same thing “what a tiny woman and how frail she looks”.

We continued our chat and a few minutes later this tiny woman, who couldn’t have been more than about 4’8” tall, walked straight up to my strapping 6’ tall son, dressed in his most impressive semi-Goth black outfit. Without hesitation, she smiled and said “young man, could you…” and before she got the rest of the sentence out of her mouth, my son had started walking with her down the aisle to help her reach the item she needed from a top shelf.

Although he normally walked like his hair was on fire, taking huge steps to match his height, he walked very slowly, matching his pace to hers, bending down to talk to her as they walked. He helped her with her item and as they walked toward me I heard him ask “would you like help with the rest of your shopping? I’d be glad to do so.”. She declined graciously and then said to me, as the hair was prickling my arms “you have a wonderfully kind young man here” and continued on her way. I gave my son a big hug, touched by his gentle heart, only to hear him say “Mom, I’m surprised she wasn’t afraid of me, given how big and I and how I am dressed! I would think she would be scared of me. WOW, that was kewl!”

And who says the teenagers have all gone to hell in a handbasket!

~Jerilynne, Indianapolis, IN USA

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