Gather round kids, I've got an interesting story for ya.
I totally felt like I was in an episode of What Would You Do, hosted by John Quinones. Have you ever seen that show? I felt like maybe he was hiding in an unmarked black van in the parking lot outside. Maybe hidden cameras were disguised in Paradise Bakery registers or trash cans in the corner?
It was a typical shopping day for me at the mall in the early 2000's. I was on the upper level heading back toward the food court to get a drink refill at Chick-fil-a, where I approached a little girl, maybe 5 years old, unattended. First, I was shocked that she was just standing there alone with no adult in sight that could claim her. Then I got really appalled when I heard more distinctly what she was chanting so loudly, almost a yell. Racial comments about the black women standing in line at Chick-fil-A. There was this little blond girl, repeating the same phrase, over and over and sometimes pointing in the direction of the women.
I looked around and EVERYONE knew how inappropriate this behavior was and how crazy it was that she was there, alone. EVERYONE was whispering and shaking their heads as they ate their lunch, but no one tried to talk to the little girl, except me. I drove closer to her and said something like, "Sweetie, shhh. What you are saying is not nice. Where is your mom or dad? What you are saying can hurt people's feelings." I looked around feeling helpless, thinking, should I request security, as she kept opening her mouth. I seriously didn't know what to do.
This little girl started walking away toward her adults finally. I approached the women in line and apologized to them on behalf of the unbelievable scenario. It's obvious that this girl's guardians are teaching her to be this way and how sad that made me that day. Such thinking is learned.
I don't know why I this incident came up in my mind in the last week, but I thought it would be blog-worthy. It's just a good reminder to me to be more kind, to be more considerate, to stand up for what is right even if no else is and to love more. Wouldn't you agree those are important, especially around this time of year? Can you imagine how more postitively people would react? The world would certainly be brighter.
Like John would ask, what would you do if you were in a similar situation?