I was never aware of what impact I had over the years in my family until my youngest son reminded me of what I had done on an evening in a store called Woodman’s located on the west side of Madison, WI. I was out of work and I was busy supplementing my income by gaffing up trees, cutting them down, and chipping wood. A job not requiring a lot of intelligence for a man with 4 degrees. I was deadly tired each day.
My 8 year old young son and I were waiting in line to check out with our groceries. The man in front of us had a loaf of bread, a half gallon of milk, and peanut butter. The cashier rang him up and gave him notice of what he owed. He plopped down his money and they stared at each other for the longest 15 seconds I ever experienced. He was short cash to pay. As the cashier reached into her pocket to pay the difference, I dropped a dollar on the conveyor. She took it and he left just taking a moment to look back at us. 25 years passed and my youngest son Craig in a conversation reminded me of what took place that day of something I had long forgotten. It was not important to me; but, my actions had an impact on him.
What makes this story in the picture interesting on USA Today and Crooks and Liars is an adult white male taking time to teach a young black male how to tie a regular tie as opposed to using a clip-on tie. The young man was scheduled to interview for a job and he needed to look the part. The Target employee took the time to teach how to and tie the tie as there were no clip-on ties at Target besides tutoring the young man in answering questions a prospect employer might ask him. Do you believe this young black male will remember the kindness an adult male showed him one day? Furthermore, is it possible in the future this young male might return a moment of kindness to another person who may need his help as a result of one person taking the time to help him regardless of gender, age, religion, and hue of skin? I am sure he will remember.
Perhaps, this gesture is little more than a person who sees the other as a person of equal stature and makes the effort to reach out with a moment of kindness.